Archive for July 2010

Monday, July 26, 2010

Happy Monday!

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Friday, July 16, 2010

Have You Ever Seen Such A Sweetie?











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Thursday, July 15, 2010

Will you get me a blanket?

I would like to issue an apology to anyone that has stepped foot in our house over the past 7ish months.  Though you have been very kind and never mentioned the frigid conditions, I am sure that you were wondering if you would leave with your fingers and toes intact.  I do thank God that no one left our home with frostbite...at least not to my knowledge.

The good news is that last night I asked Josh a shocking question: "Babe, will you get me a blanket?"  He stopped in his tracks and stared.  "A blanket?  A blanket! Do you mean to tell me that you are cold?"  It was a sweet moment in the Fenska home.  For once, I was not fanning myself or commenting about how hot I was.  For once, I was not wishing that I lived in Antarctica.  Ah...relief.  One nasty symptom of this hyperthyroidism has been the inability to regulate my body heat.  I have been unbearably hot for months. I've felt like I was in a sauna all day long. Now I only feel like that about 5 or 6 times a day and that is doable.

I can see little glimpses of healing and we're thanking God for that!  I'm still hot often, eating like a ravenous beast, exhausted, and having stomach trouble, but all of those symptoms are not quite as severe as they were. I think I've stopped losing weight and my hair isn't falling out as much. And the beta blockers are keeping my heart from racing.  Even though I wish that I felt 100% better, I'm grateful for the progress that I do see.

Thank you so much for your prayers, calls, texts, emails, meals, childcare, etc. You all have made it so much easier to focus on recovering.  We are blessed with wonderful family and friends and we thank God for you!  We're grateful that we aren't doing this alone.

If you're wondering how you can pray for me, please continue to pray for complete healing.  Also, please pray that I would trust in God's grace for the many things I wish I could have changed over the months of feeling so sick.  There are many things I wish I would have done differently.  I'm so grateful that God does not treat us as our sins deserve because He afflicted Christ in our place.

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Saturday, July 10, 2010

His Way Is Perfect...even when it involves sickness

I'm not going to complain about the hospital because:

A. Complaining is sin. And because B.They kept me from going into cardiac arrest.

But still, they didn't explain a lot of what hyperthyroidism is or what treatment really means.  That was probably for the best because I'm guessing that I would have gotten overwhelmed, laying on a hospital bed with wires strapped all over, being told that it could take MONTHS before I feel better. Yep. MONTHS.

The thyroid is sort of a hormone regulator and helps control things like weight, metabolism, body temperature, heart rate, etc. A normal range of the thyroid hormone TSH should be from 1-2.  3-4 means that you have hypothyroidism (your body isn't producing enough of the hormone.) Anything under .7 means that you're hyperthyroid.  Ladies and gentlemen, I was at .02 TSH when I got the emergency room. My thyroid has been producing WAY too many hormones for WAY too long.  Since my level is so low, it will take quite a while for it to stabilize again.  If it was just a little while, it could potentially get better in a couple of weeks. But since it is dangerously low, it's going to take months.

Just in case you're wondering, I am really tempted to be discouraged about this time frame. I have already felt bad for about 5 months and now I have more months ahead of me before I feel better.  I have three little kids and a husband to care for and no energy to do it.  Still, God has a good plan for us, even if I don't understand it.

I've been trying to hold fast to this promise in God's Word:

"This God—His way is perfect;
the word of the Lord proves true;
He is a shield for all those who take refuge in Him." Psalm 18:30

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Thursday, July 8, 2010

Beta Blockers and the Screaming Lady

If you were waking up 4+ times a night for about 7 months, how do you think you'd feel?  Not bursting with energy and wanting to run a marathon, right?  Well, I've been feeling awful for months but assumed that it was due to my sleep deprivation. I've been exhausted, weak, hot all the time, starving an hour after I eat, easily overwhelmed, and shaky.  I have never felt so awful before in all of my life.  Each day I was waking up just feeling like I had absolutely no energy and no way to get through the day.  The thought of changing a diaper or doing the dishes just seemed like it required way too much physical stamina.  I spent a lot of time begging God for grace to care for my kids, and counting the hours till nap time.  Not long ago, my heart began racing or skipping beats.  Even in my tired delirium, I knew that heart issues usually aren't from sleeplessness.  I started getting a bit nervous and made a doctor's appointment.


In the meantime, I googled and self-diagnosed that I probably had hyperthyroidism.  I was actually so relieved that I might have something treatable.  Unfortunately, the day of my appointment (yesterday), my heart kept getting worse.  After the appointment, Josh and I went to the emergency room.  My heart rate was in the 140's and blood tests confirmed that i have hyperthyroidism.  Because my heart rate wasn't coming down much, they admitted me.

Now, I'm on beta blockers and a thyroid suppresser to get my thyroid under control.  I am not feeling wonderful, but I feel better than I have in months.  I cannot tell you how grateful to God I am that this has been found!  I am so grateful that He protected me from getting worse and so grateful that He has provided medication to help me.  I am also SOOOO grateful that He has made a way for me to continue nursing Addie amidst it all. I'm so grateful for a husband that has cared for me and helped me during the months that I've been unable to do much. I'm so grateful that he came with me to the dr, hospital, and stayed with me all night. I'm so grateful that God has given me parents that live close by and were able to help. I'm so grateful that I'm home and don't have to listen to the lady in the room next to me screaming at the nurses all night.

As they wheeled me to my hospital room, we passed the Cancer Ward.  I was reminded that hyperthyroidism is something to be grateful for. I am going to get better. It's not fatal. We are thanking God for that!

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Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Right now I'm in the hospital. Found out that I have hyperthyroid. I'd love prayers for healing and that I'd still be able to nurse.

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Tuesday, July 6, 2010

From China to Rwanda

Instead of leaving you hanging, I thought I'd fill in some more details!  How did we get from me having the desire to care for orphans in China to deciding to adopt from Rwanda (hopefully starting the process in 2011)?  Here's the rest of the story...

Before Josh and I got engaged I asked him if he'd be interested in adopting someday. I told him that if he wasn't, I wasn't sure that I could marry him because it was that important to me. He quickly said he'd definitely be interested. :)

We got married and 3 babies came pretty fast.  Five sweet years of marriage passed and life was going at full speed.  I didn't give much thought to the babies without parents; my mind was running wild with trying to care for the little ones I already had!  Then my friend, Misha, started posting some adoption videos on her blog.  One look and all of the hopes and desires came rushing back.  I could not shake the intense longing to do something to care for these children.  I started searching on-line a bit about international adoption and just felt absolutely sure that this was for us.  I sent for a couple info packets from different agencies.  I talked with Josh about it and he agreed that it would be wonderful, but said that it just wasn't the right time for us.  He suggested that we talk about it again after Christmas.

My heart sunk and I prayed. I asked a couple of friends to pray.  And a week later when I brought it up again, something had changed.  We began looking at the details of adopting from various countries.  I'd always thought we'd adopt from China but we fall too short of China's income requirements.  So, we started looking at Ethiopia and Rwanda.

More on why we chose Rwanda later...

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Monday, July 5, 2010

Rwanda

When I was a little girl, I once caught a glimpse of a news broadcast about orphans in Russia.  My heart was forever changed.  I knew that somehow, someday, I would do something about it.  After college, I moved to Wheaton and began pursuing a Master's Degree in Teaching English as a Second Language. The plan was for me to graduate and head to China to work in an orphanage there. I made a friend that knew Mandarin and she tutored me in Chinese.  I wrote papers on the orphan crisis in China.  I watched videos about adoption and researched various orphanages.  I cried about the kids there without families and I prayed that I'd be able to help.

Then something happened.  I fell in love with a guy that wanted to be a pastor.  It became pretty clear that God wasn't calling me to go work in an orphanage (as good and wonderful as that is) but that He was calling me to serve my husband here in the U.S. and build our lives in our local church. And I have not regretted that change in my plans for one second.  But I have wondered what would become of the passion in my heart to serve children without parents.


James 1:27 says, "Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world."  I don't think that James meant that ALL Christians must adopt or that ALL Christians must open their home to a widow.  I don't think that James meant that ALL Christians must go work in an orphanage.  But I do think that God has a heart for orphans and that He wants us to have a heart for them too.

What does that look like?  Loving orphans can take a variety of forms.  For us, it looks like praying and planning to adopt a baby from Rwanda.

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Friday, July 2, 2010

Happy Belated Birthday, Babe!

Yesterday, my favorite person turned 30.

You may know him as the smart guy with glasses that loves the Padres, Breyers strawberry ice cream, and studying God's Word.  You may see him most often as a pastor preaching to you on Sunday morning or the dude rockin' out on the guitar during worship.  Or maybe if you're a part of my family, you've chatted with him a couple times but don't know him too well yet.  I don't know exactly what you know of this man, but I can tell you this: my husband is the real deal.

There are plenty of things I could list or describe to show you this but I will attempt to keep it short and just share one example:

On our anniversary this year I was rushing out of the garage to get to Addie's doctor appointment and slammed into the side of  Josh's car. (Honestly, I didn't even see it there!)  I felt horrible and ran inside to tell him.  He gave me a hug and said, "That's ok. It's just a car. I love you much more than my car." Fast forward 3 months to a party with some of Josh's college roommates.  He was talking about the longevity of his car and how it's still truckin' along after all this time.  I overheard him saying, "Someone scraped into the side of it a bit but other than that it still looks pretty good." Then he went right on with his conversation. NO mention of me being the one to hit his car. No making me look bad (even though it was my fault!). No even mentioning my name.  To me that was a perfect picture of who Josh is: gracious, forgiving, forbearing, patient, kind, and always honoring me.

I could also tell you about how he takes the time to play guitar for the kids each night, gets take-out when I'm too tired to cook, listens to what I say and takes the time to really hear, gives up countless hours to love and care for people, spends his day off making memories with the kids instead of just relaxing, and a thousand other things.  But I won't.

I'll just say this: Happy Birthday, Josh! I am so blessed to be your wife!

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