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Monday, December 27, 2010

There Is So Much Hope........

Yesterday I read two blog posts that simply made my heart happy!! They were about two little girls whom I fell in love with a year ago. Two little girls who lived in an orphanage only because they were born with Down syndrome. I donated to their Reeces Rainbow accounts and wished so much that it was our time to adopt one of them. But God had other plans, he already had two families picked out that he wanted to raise these beautiful little girls. As much as I would have loved to adopt either one of them, I am so thrilled that the Sanchez and Smith families were chosen for them. After donating to Reeces Rainbow, I received these beautiful ornaments with Sophia and Dasha's pictures on them and I will cherish them FOREVER!! For these two little girls have opened my eyes to the wonderful world of adoption and that these precious kids who have been all but forgotten in their countries do indeed have so much hope.....all they need is a family to love them. Just see for yourselves below!!

My ornament of Sophia hanging in the middle of our tree

Sophia spending her first Christmas with
a family...can you even imagine how
much her life has changed!!

Here is the very precious Dasha. She was the first face
I fell in love with and I will always have such a special
love for her!!

Look at Dasha now...she has only been home about a
month now but she got to celebrate with a family
who loves her very much this year. I just can't
stop smiling!!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Thursday, December 23, 2010

What Has Ella Been Up Since She Got Home?

I tell you what! The child has been raking in the gifts this week! Some were waiting for her to get home and some arrived the last two days. So she has been having fun playing with ALL of her new things. The child literally has not stopped moving other than to sleep since she got home. I guess that is what happens when you are confined to your crib for 3 weeks at the hospital. I am not kidding, she just walks around the house and goes from one thing to the next the whole day. I think the only time she sits is when I put her in her high chair to feed her and she is watching TV. She is absolutely loving being home and we are loving having her here. Here are a bunch of photos of Ella with her new things. There is a video at the bottom and I know sometimes it doesn't show up so just click refresh and hopefully it will appear then.

Here is Ella enjoying her new purple octopus from
Ruby's family...it makes a great pillow.

or a great hat!!

Could this cupcake hat be any cuter??? It was
a gift from Addy and her family

Ella is kissing her new Pillow Pet from Anna and her family

Nothing new here, I just thought this was a cute picture :)

I wasn't able to get a good picture of Ella reading
the books so here are some gifts and an adorable

This is Ella's new thing to do with her DVD's. She walks around
with them on her index finger. Kinda smart like she knows
you shouldn't get your fingerprints on them.

This is an immediate favorite Playmobil set given to Ella
from Maggie Rae and her family

Okay...this is where things get interesting :) This is an
adorable Tutu given to Ella from her soul sister in Rhode Island,

Apparently, this is what big sister Emma thinks the tutu is for

Is this right, sissy? (Don't you just love the bald head?)

I think we have it right now!

At first glance, one would think that Ella is doing great with her
occupational skills in being able to successfully open this present. However, there
are two problems here. First of all, it isn't Christmas yet and secondly, this gift isn't for
Ella!!! She just grabbed it from under the tree and opened it up...sigh!!

And finally, here is a video of Ella playing the piano with Joe's mom who is
visiting from Montana. This is the first time she has met Ella. I think Ella does
a pretty good job with those high notes!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Guess What??????

A certain little bald headed darling has been released from the hospital, hopefully once and for all. Her counts started coming up from zero on Friday and as of yesterday her ANC was 260. The doctor said that as long as she had a decent jump up today, she would get to go home today even if she wasn't quite at 500. Well, today the little Angel's ANC was 806!!! She was good to go and after a red blood cell transfusion (hers were just a little low and they didn't want to have us need to come back before Christmas) we were sent packing!! In true Vollmer fashion, we stopped to eat on our way home. Ella didn't seem to miss a beat and acted as if she has been living life freely forever. When she got home, she spent quite a bit of time exploring the newly decorated house. Needless to say, we all have great big smiles on our faces.

We will have to go in for a bone marrow biopsy the week after Christmas just to make sure everything looks good and then make clinic visits, weekly, monthly and so on for quite some time. But as long as we can stay out of the hospital, we will be singing praises for a long time!! Thank you to everyone who was praying that Ella would be home in time for Christmas. They worked!! My only complaint is that I didn't get my wrapping done which will now be a little bit trickier with my "helper" home.

They gave Ella a little 'Happy Last Chemo Party' today
before we left.

Enjoying the Christmas tree

"Who is this new person who is almost my size?"

Hanging out in sissy's bed talking to her peeps!

Getting some piano practice in

Monday, December 13, 2010

And The Winner Is..........

The lucky winner of the Reeces Rainbow quilt is Alicia Vanderwall. Thank you to everyone who entered. Megan is now $350.00 closer to her goal. Since I was in the hospital yesterday and today, I had to improvise. So, as you can see below, I used a barf bowl to hold the drawing papers. Don't worry, it was clean!!
Thank you once again for everyone's generosity. If there is anyone else who would really like a Reeces Rainbow quillow, they can be purchased in whatever colors you prefer for $50. You can contact Megan directly at blond2435@yahoo.com and put "quillow" in the subject line.

And a quick Ella update: She is doing well today. Her cold seems to be settling down with only a few coughing fits today. And her g-tube site hasn't gotten any worse. The ultrasound was negative for any abscess and the GI doctor tried loosening to tube a little to see if that was causing the irritation. Hopefully it will look better tomorrow.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Uugghh!!! And Thank You!

First of all, thank you so much to everyone who donated money towards little Sophia's family to help cover the initial costs of her adoption. We were able to raise over $350.00 which is wonderful but is just a small dent in the $2000 that they still need to cover home study costs. So, if there is anyone who would still like to donate money for initial costs, please go to Megan's blog at A Journey of the Heart and you can use her chipin button. I know this is a tough time choose who to donate to with so many great causes out there but I so appreciate those that chose to help Sophia. Megan is really going on faith that God will provide the money necessary for her to complete the adoption and I know that God is using us to help her. We will be doing the drawing for the Reeces Rainbow quilt today or tomorrow and I will announce the winner shortly after.

Now, for an Ella update. Ella has been fighting a cold since we first started this round. It seemed like it had gone away this past week but then it seems to have come back with vengeance the last few days. They have determined that she has something called the Adenovirus which can cause respiratory problems. Her chest xray looks fine and her lungs sound good so far so they are just keeping a close eye on her and doing breathing treatments a couple times a day. Because of this, we are basically in isolation now so we can't leave the room which is a bummer.

She has also had some abdominal tenderness the past few days. Whenever we would pick her up, she would whine and pull her legs up towards her chest. Today her G-tube site looked kind of red and swollen. I am thinking that this could be the cause of her pain. They took her down to do an ultrasound of the area to make sure there there isn't an abscess so hopefully we will get those results later tonight. So, although we aren't dealing with super serious things at this point, we aren't quite sailing through this round like we hoped to. I guess the good news is that we would be in the hospital right now anyway waiting on her counts so she is in good hands and we aren't being delayed at this point. Speaking of her counts, they are almost down to zero, hopefully we will hit it in the next day or two and then wait for them to start coming back up. We are still very hopeful that we will make it home in time for Christmas. But we would sure appreciate continued prayers for none of these little things to turn more serious and keep us here any longer than necessary.

Here is Ella being wheeled down to get her ultrasound.

Here is Emma getting her Honor Roll recognition

These are a few attempts at getting a

Christmas picture of Ella. It was the first

day she was free from her IV lines last week

and she wouldn't stop moving for anything!!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

I Feel All Warm And Fuzzy!!!

Boy, I must say, you guys really have come through for me. I really feel loved again and my faith in you has been restored!! Thank you, thank you, thank you to all of you who took the time to donate for little Sofia so her family can start the process of bringing her home. (Sorry that I had to play the guilt card the other day but like I said, I am competing against people raffling off electronic gadgets!!) THERE IS ONE MORE DAY TO GO IN THE RAFFLE........IT WILL END SATURDAY NIGHT AT MIDNIGHT. And for those who haven't been able to donate, let me tell you that many people only donated $5 and we are up to over $300!! See how those small amounts add up if everyone chips in just a little.

So, for anyone who may still want to donate, scroll down to the two previous posts and find the chipin....I promise that it will be quick and painless. And once again, for those who may need a little more incentive, here is another picture of Ella to entice you a little. Remember, for those that donate, you get the added bonus of a kiss from Ella :)

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Does No One Love Me ??? :(

I feel so unloved!! I can't believe that none of my dear, treasured blog friends have donated $5 to try to win the Reeces Rainbow quilt and more importantly to help Megan bring Sophia home. When I saw the quilt for the first time, I told Megan that we had to raffle one off.....everyone loves the RR kiddos and would love a quilt of their own. Was I that wrong? And in case you were wondering, yes, I am playing the guilt card. I need some kind of competition against everyone who is raffling off Ipads and Itouch etc. PLEASE!!!! It's only $5. And I know that all of your hearts are with raising money for these kids so they can have a family step up for them. But Sophia already has someone who loves her but needs some help getting the ball rolling. Maybe I should use Ella to draw you in :) I know you all love her! And she will send you a big kiss if you donate too.

So.....if you feel so inclined to donate, see my previous post or click here

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Reeces Rainbow Quilt Raffle

I know many of you have already fallen in love with Sophia from Reeces Rainbow. Well, I am happy to report that Sophia has found her forever family and they have committed to her. Megan from Journey of the Heart has taken a big leap of faith and committed to Sophia and is now desperately trying to finish raising the initial funds needed to get the whole adoption process started. Megan makes these beautiful Quillows and actually made one for each member of our family and we love them. When I saw the one she made with the faces of kiddos from Reeces Rainbow, I told her that we had to raffle one of those off. Megan will make one for the winner in whatever colors that person prefers. Look at those faces, who wouldn't want to snuggle under a quilt with them.

For every $5 you donate through the chipin button, you will get an entry into the raffle. If you donate $25, you will get 5 entries...you get the drill. Come on people, here is an orphan with a family that really wants to save her.....let's help Megan get this process started!!

A name will be drawn Sunday, December 12th.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Round 6 Has Begun!!!

This is Ella's look upon arriving back at the hospital today. I am amazed yet so thankful that she doesn't mind being here at all. I am sure that part of it is that she gets so much attention all the time.

To catch you all up on our last week's events, Ella has done fine with the G-tube. She was definitely a bit sore to the touch for a few days and I think the feeds bothered her some as her stomach would be stretched causing some pain. But she is doing great with it now and we have worked back up to 7 ounce feedings (the goal is 8 ounces). The biggest problem now is keeping her from pulling the feeding bag attachment out of the tube and spilling her milk all over the place. We tape it like crazy but she has become quite proficient with working the tape over these last few months of having lines all over her body. So if anyone has any suggestions for reducing the amount of mess, I would greatly appreciate it.

We were released from the hospital last Tuesday and were home for a total of 7 hours before Ella decided to get a fever. When you have a central line, a fever can mean there is an infection in your blood and therefore you MUST come in to the hospital to receive IV antibiotics. So, we came back in through the ER about midnight. Her fever at home was 101 and in the ER was 100.5. They gave her Tylenol and we never saw the fever again. Of course nothing turned up in the lines but we can't take any chances. Thankfully, they didn't keep us the full 48 hours and let us out around noon on Thanksgiving day. We only had 3 days at home but we accomplished alot during those days and had some good times. This round will be exactly the same as her last round. Seven days straight of chemo and then sit and wait. Please pray that this round will be much less eventful than the last round. I really hope we can be home for Christmas!!

This was my favorite Black Friday purchase!!

Our new way of feeding Ella. I still can't believe
that I have an IV pole in my house. We try to keep
Ella occupied by watching TV and let the bear sit on her feeding tube so
that maybe she won't try to disconnect it!!

Ella's new poncho made by my Aunt Judy.

We had some special visitors on Saturday. Melissa and Claire from Moos Crossing (and her husband) were visiting from Colorado so we planned a little get together at my house. Laura and Ashley (and family) from Dear Laura, Love Sissy also joined us. We had a wonderful time and I can't wait to see them all again. The girls were quite funny together. Once again, Ella was a bit of a brute, finding it humorous to push Claire over from the sitting position. But she also tried to love on her as you can see below. Unfortunately, I didn't get many good pictures as my battery was dying and most of them came out blurry. (If you go to Ashley's blog above, she has much better pics)
Ella and Claire getting a little TOO friendly!!

Ella is showing the girls how to play with diapers

It was actually quite cute as they were all passing them
around like they were playing hot potato!!

Ella and Laura...aren't they the sweetest little Puritan
girls you have ever seen??

Trying to get a picture of all three of them together was
kind of a joke...this was the best I got.