Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Embryo Adoption

We trust only in the Lords leading and His timing in all we do, that includes adding to our family. We felt He closed the door to us adopting again from Haiti but we know He is still calling us to adopt.
 
 One option we are prayerfully considering and stepping out in faith in is embryo adoption. We don't debate IVF and don't allow for unsolicited opinions but we are happy to share what we are learning so that others who may consider this option are informed too.
 
There are 600,000 frozen embryos in our country left over from IVF procedures or made by Drs for clinic use.. 
 
 There are clinics that will do a transfer of an existing embryo to an adoptive mother without  a homestudy for around $3,500. There are also placement agencies that handle the adoption like that of any other child with a cost of around $15,000.
 
Also within embryo adoption there are special circumstance embryos that tend to be overlooked because a sibling was born with special needs, or the bio mother has a genetic condition or because there is only one and many families prefer 2-3 embryos at least. 
 
Embryo adoption is a fairly new approach to adoption. We trust only in the Lord leading and timing and love and appreciate all the encouragement and support we receive from friends and family.
 
  With our boundaries that we have set as a family neither opinions nor negative comments  are allowed but we certainly don't mind answering questions that come from a pure heart and sharing our story.
 
We will be taking the first step in faith this week and going to see the Dr to make everything would be ok for me to carry another child (or two ;) ).
 
Just like in any adoption process there are no guarantees. Its a journey and we take each step as it comes and trust in Him with where it leads.
 
Bless you all for your continued prayers as we prayerfully consider how the Lord may call us to expand our family.
 
Praising His Name in Sprit and in Truth~ Goose and Gillian

Monday, May 12, 2014

Genie

Genie had his regular 5 year Drs appointment this past week.. He had an appointment when he was home just 2 days and at the time the Dr agreed that he was likely in the spectrum. Since coming home and starting on GAPS most of his autistic type behaviors (hand flap, head tilt and rocking) have slowed down immensely or stopped. He used to grab and throw anything in his reach but that has stopped completely. ...He used to need his chew necklace or he would chew on his shirts, he hasn't used the necklace in months and hasn't chewed his shirts at all. He used to grid his teeth so loud it would wake us up. That's stopped too. He is great at making eye contact and now communicates with signs (eat, more, go, please, Mommy, Daddy, play, book, up and love you) and he points to what he wants then signs please. He seeks out interaction with us (especially with his Daddy ) and will grunt his disproval when we leave his sight. ...and except for at night he is pretty well potty trained!! All this to say the Dr doesn't think Genie is in the spectrum any more. Now that's not to say we are positive he was.. We said he is autistic to give people a better understanding of how to interact with him and based on what we and the Dr were seeing for behaviors initially. But we do Praise God and give Him all the glory for the healing and developmental growth we have seen in Genie, no matter if he was or wasn't autistic before GAPS.. The Dr now believes that there may be some brain damage that could have occurred at birth and possible mild CP. Truly though this doesn't really change much for us or Genie. He has still made great strides and is doing amazingly well!! He will stay on GAPS where we have seen so much improvement and we will continue with his homeschool routine and therapies that we do here. 
 
 We don't like labels but this information just gives us another piece of his puzzle and a way to better research ways to help him. Our goal is never to make our special needs children neurotypical or what the world sees at "normal" (honestly thats not our goal for any of our children). Our goal is to do all we can to help them be happy and healthy and to be who God intended them to be, while pointing them to Christ. He will have some tests done down the road a bit just to check on his brain function and with his seizures to see if hopefully someday soon he could go off his antiseizure meds.. Thankful for our wonderful Christian Dr who really took the time to interact with Genie and who was just gentle and compassionate with him. You could see in her eyes how much she enjoyed spending time with our little guy (but truly who wouldn't ).. Proud of our little man and Thankful for the knowledge and wisdom the Lord provides so we can help Genie be all God intends.
 
Thankful and Blessed~

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

The Fitzpatricks on the GAPS Diet

We started a new blog to document our continuing journey with GAPS. We have been on GAPS as a family for 3 years but now that Genie and GiGi are home we are starting again with the intro. The new blog will be used to share our experiences and document healing.
 
Please follow our GAPS Diet journey at
 
 
In Light and Love~ Goose and Gillian


Monday, February 3, 2014

...And a Few More Homeschool Activities

We have been adding preschool activities with home made tools. Super easy to put together and great resources to use with our youngest two.
Our McKenna making a rainbow salt box. Create a "rainbow" at the bottom of the box with construction paper and glue.  Then fill the box with a layer of salt. Let the kids experiment with using their fingers or a paint brush


 
We also made rice and bead boxes...
 

 
And a shaving cream sensory bag with beads.

 

Very thankful for all the great blogs and websites from other homeschooling families!! We found all these projects by reading what has worked for others then finding a way to make the activities work in our home. Our next project will be some of the great (and super easy) homemade play dough recipes with different textures.  (For now we just use molding clay we picked up at Wal Mart ;) but we are excited to make our own!! Hope to be back soon to share what we find!!
 
Our two precious oldest playing with their younger siblings before they start their homeschooling. My cup runneth over~ 
 
Bless you all for your continued prayers!!
 
In Light and Love~ Goose and Gillian
 

 
 


Friday, January 31, 2014

Our Christian (Charlotte Mason / Unschooling / Montessori Pre-school) Homeschool Day~

When we started homeschooling our oldest two many years ago we fell in love with the idea of "unschooling". We looked at Charlotte Mason and the Montessori Method and loved the whole idea of moving away from the more traditional and common approaches to education and finding ways for our children to develop a love of learning through creating and surrounding them in an educational environment all while pointing them to the Lord. As they moved up in grades we started incorporating more text book style learning for their Math and Language Arts but our hearts have always been with unschooling albeit a bit more structured than some unschooling approaches.
Our oldest love to learn through hands on activities, living books (think more library book than text book), journaling, and drawing so we still incorporate the more Charlotte Mason approach wherever we can, which is usually with their Sciences, Social Studies and Reading.
Now that our two youngest are home we get to revisit those wonderful preschool days. We will be taking a similar approach in preschooling Genie and GiGi that we did with McKenna and Mikey but altering it a bit to meet their individual needs. We will be incorporating more sensory activities, OT, speech and PT into their day and adapting our approach as we see fit.
Our youngest two have only been home a month but both have been doing beautifully with attachment and thrive on structure so we started incorporating our preschool into their daily schedule and it has been amazing!! Both kids are engaging and making steps that we never thought we'd see so soon.
We have a set up space in our unfinished (but hopefully finished someday soon :)  ) basement for their bins, pretend play, music and PT. In the dining room we have their arts and crafts, puzzles and sensory activities. But their favorite seems to be the activities we do in the kitchen.. They love food so they have really had fun being part of the food prep process.
Homeschooling doesn't need to be complicated, nor does it need to be expensive. We use the space we have. We research ( a lot) to see what has worked for other families and find ways to make what we need. You don't need hand crafted wooden toys in order to educate your preschooler (although we LOVE wooden toys ;) ) and you don't need the shelving from pottery barn to set up themed bins. Where our basement isn't finished yet we put their bins on the floor and that works just fine. ;) What matters is that the children have a calm, loving, safe environment to explore and learn.
We took some photos of what we using right now to create a learning environment for our youngest two..
 Our current Art and Crafts and puzzles that we use in the dining room. Friends donated these wooden puzzles to us for our yard sale fundraiser and we set them aside knowing they would be an great tool for our youngest. 
 Music time~ Goose and his family play the guitar and the kids love to strum along as he plays. Friends gave us a pluck box (Goose saw a man playing one in Haiti when he went to pick up the kids!) and a cajon box (originated in Peru) that are easy for preschooler to play and absolutely beautiful pieces of art.
 
 We purchased a large indoor trampoline and it has been a great asset to helping the youngest build strength and balance. We also do work on the exercise ball for strength and balance. A beautiful friend gave us a 6 foot tunnel and a ball pit with 50+balls and the kids LOVE their tunnels and balls!
This is our bin and pretend play area. (Notice the complete lack of pottery barn and the use of inexpensive Wal Mart plastic containers ;)  ) We have a play kitchen, baby doll accessories and our bins. Each bin has a theme that we can change out but for now these are the Genie and GiGis interests. We have a bin for books, balls, animals, pretend food, blocks and cars. ..(it was amazing to see Genie today with just a bit of help and encouragement he picked up his bin today when it was time to move on and put it back where it belonged. Not because we are concerned with a tidy home but because we are encouraging him to do more for himself and we are seeing his confidence grow by leaps and bounds! He is coming so far!! and this afternoon GiGi chose the animal bin and sat with me repeating the names of all the animals in the bin.. She so loves to learn!!) 
We are Blessed to be able to homeschool all our children and we are so thankful that we are able watch all four of our children blossom while learning at home..
 
Here are some snap shots of our youngest two enjoying our Christian~ Charlotte Mason Unschooling Montessori ~Homeschool. :)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Bless you all for your continued prayers!! Its an amazing journey and we are thankful everyday that the Lord chose us to be the parents of these four amazing children.
 
In Light and Love~ Goose and Gillian