Saturday, January 14, 2017

2016 - Year in Review

I think it's safe to say that 2016 was our most eventful year to date. That's saying a lot looking back at the past 5 years especially.

On January 27, we finalized the adoption of our 8th child. God provided everything we needed and more through our family, friends and church.


The next few months were filled with minimal sleep, buckets of tears and multiple days saying "goodbye" to Judah. He had so many brushes with death. Twice his shunt malfunctioned and we were told that we could lose him within hours. He refused to eat for 3 straight days at one point, had multiple respiratory viruses that we were afraid would turn into pneumonia.



The scariest two days were when we put him on a medication for hypertonia and he reacted horribly to it and began seizing uncontrollably, throwing up almost constantly. I planned his funeral every time we had a scare. By the time June rolled around, I felt like I couldn't take much more of the rollercoaster. Just when I thought life couldn't get more traumatic and unpredictable, our house caught on fire.

On June 17, life as we knew it, ended. My beautiful house, that my husband worked so hard on for so many years was gone. Gone to us anyway - it sat there for 4 months, just as the day we left it. Mold growing up the walls, our belongings strewn about, soaked and covered in ashes. Eventually we received compensation for our contents and the entire house was gutted. As of writing this, it is bare - no walls, floors, everything has to be completely redone. We are still waiting, 7 months later, to get a final word on whether they will rebuild or total it.


In the midst of uncertainty and "what if" scenarios, God's sovereignty held strong. I felt overwhelmed, but incredibly at peace, knowing that God was completely in control of the situation. The fire happened upstairs during the day. Judah was upstairs asleep. Had the water pipe not melted and sent the fire the opposite direction of his room, we obviously would have lost him. If my daughter hadn't woken up early from her nap, we would have lost her when the fire went to her room instead of Judah's. If Seth hadn't been home for that 1 hour lunch, I don't think I would have been able to hold my breath long enough to save Judah. I have never felt so much protection from the Lord and His angels than I did that day. My faith is stronger because of this trial. I am thankful for that.

I begged God to give me a reprieve from Judah's health rollercoaster after the fire and He so graciously answered my prayer. Since the fire, Judah has been the healthiest and most content that he has ever been. On September 23, we miraculously celebrated his 1st birthday, which is statistically unheard of.


We have received answers to prayer that have blown us away. In December, multiple dreams came true when we went Florida, while Judah stayed here with family and friends. It was an amazing week and I am so thankful to Jesus for making the impossible happen so many times this year for us.


I jotted down a few goals for this next year, but they can all be summed up into one. I pray that at the end of 2017, I will be more like Jesus than I am today. I don't know what trials I will have to joyfully endure to meet that goal, but I know that He will be there with me every step of the way. Happy New Year friends.


"If life were stable, I’d never need God’s help. Since it’s not, I reach out for Him regularly. I am thankful for the unknowns and that I don’t have control, because it makes me run to God." -Francis Chan




Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Christmas 2016


Except for a few of us being sick, we had a great Christmas. Gingerbread houses were decorated, over 70 presents were wrapped and squeals of joy were had by all. As I edited all the pictures, I had a mixture of feelings. Thankfulness for God's incredible providence, joy from the memories we made in this new, yet temporary house and sadness thinking about how this time next year, we might be somewhere else. We strive to hold onto things loosely, so that if God asks us to give them up, we can do it with minimal hesitation. Admittedly though, it's tough living without a sense of permanence, but it's part of the sanctification process that the Lord is taking us through right now. We are grateful for these trials, because through them, we are becoming more like Him.

"For this world is not our permanent home; we are looking forward to a home yet to come..." Hebrews 13:14

I am proud to share that even before we could mention it on Christmas morning, 3 of our children asked if they could read the Christmas story and pray before opening presents. They all sat patiently and honored God by sharing the story of Jesus' birth. I'm so thankful and it was my favorite part of Christmas this year. Granted, they have developed entitlement issues like most children do after the mountains of presents they received, but their desire to put Him first encourages me that they're on the right track. :)

Merry Christmas!


























Wednesday, December 21, 2016

My First Year as a Special Needs Mom

I've been hesitant to take the title of "Special Needs Mom" this past year. Maybe because we CHOSE to adopt a severely disabled child or because for many months, Judah's behavior was somewhat age-appropriate and it wasn't obvious to anyone else that he was disabled. I haven't walked the path of many mamas who have to constantly fight with their insurance company or advocate for therapy or special equipment or spend weeks in the hospital. I am so thankful for that, because honestly, I don't know how we would have managed with our 7 older children. When God called us to this, I didn't know what it would look like, I just trusted that He would work it all out and He most definitely has.

Currently, Judah is weighing around 13 pounds at 15 months old. He has 4 teeth and working on a few more. His diet will consist solely of formula until he is 2. His new specialty feeding bottles are great and he averages 5-6oz each feeding when he's not teething. His medication for his hypertonia is still working beautifully. I love watching him stretch his legs out all the time now. He has many seizures everyday, but they don't seem to bother him at all and we are thankful. His VP shunt has not malfunctioned in over 6 months, praise God! We have been with a new pediatric hospice for a couple months now and are so thankful for them. It is so reassuring to have someone knowledgeable come out to the house every week.

I have many people who have asked about a feeding tube and after much prayer and speaking with two neurologists, we are not planning on doing that. Because of Judah's diagnosis (hydranencephaly), we feel that the Lord does not want any additional medical interventions to lengthen his life. If the Lord wants him to live, He will enable him to do so. He has already shown His sovereignty many times in Judah's life as He has rescued him from death's doorstep. We completely trust Him and if He leads us down another path, we will obey then too.

One thing that I'm getting used to is how people react - or don't react - to him. I've been blown away by those who hold him and lavish love on him every chance they get. I'm also often surprised by people in our life who pretend he's not in my arms when we're having a conversation. They don't look at him, touch him or ask to hold him. I didn't realize that because of their discomfort or ignorance about his condition, that he would be "invisible" to many. I didn't realize how much that would break my heart. He is so lovable and such a blessing from the Lord, I guess I will have to make peace with the fact that it is their loss.







Saturday, December 10, 2016

God is Faithful

"To the faithful You show Yourself faithful..." 2 Sam. 22:26a

I read this scripture this morning as I finished up 2 Samuel and it rested heavily on me. With the help of the Holy Spirit, we have strived to trust in the Lord and glorify Him this past year no matter what trial we encountered and HE has rewarded us greatly. Truly, there are no words that can express our gratitude and awe of what God has done over the past few weeks.

Earlier this year, my mom's side of the family began planning a family reunion in Florida. We prayed that if it was the Lord's will, He would provide a way for us to go. It did not come and we saw the Lord's wisdom in that as the date for the reunion came closer. We lost our home in a fire just one week before the reunion happened. Had we attempted to go at that time, we would have had to cancel all of our plans and lost who knows how much money.

Less than 6 months later, we received an incredibly generous and anonymous offer to send our family to Disney World for vacation. I have prayed for years for this impossible dream to become a reality. With our family and financial situation, it was a dream that I had written off completely. God loves to prove me wrong and He does it often. I'm so thankful for that! We planned our trip quickly, because Judah has been so stable and is doing so well. God provided a dear friend and my mother to watch him, so that we could be fully present for our 7 oldest. We were able to watch our children experience flying for the first time! I will never forget the laughter and excitement as we took off. We found an amazing house to rent near Disney for $99/night! It was such a blessing. It had a heated pool for the kids, plenty of room and access to a great resort pool and a park down the street.





One morning, the kids were swimming and I was reading my Bible. We recited Psalm 91 together and not 5 minutes later, a skywriter began writing messages. They were so clearly from the Lord, that it still gives me God goosebumps thinking about it. All in all, he wrote three messages -

"U + GOD = 😄"
"JESUS LOVES U"
"JESUS GIVES"



We serve an amazing God that will show off in ways you never imagined if only you will seek and obey Him.

The kids loved Disney! We attended the Christmas party and were able to ride more rides because of being able to stay in the park late at night. They were tuckered out when we left around 11pm.





The kids begged to go to LEGOLAND while we were there as well, so we planned a day for that. While researching tickets, I found a homeschool discount that saved us a total of $850! Instead of paying $99/ticket, we paid $15! WOW! Thank You Jesus! Not only that, but when we went, there was barely anyone there. The kids rode rides over and over again because there were no lines.




One of my favorite parts of the trip was seeing family that I hadn't seen in years and being able to meet their children and watch as the "new" cousins hit it off instantly. Thank you from the bottom of my heart to the family that came to see us. We love you all so much.




After LEGOLAND, we made the 90 mile drive to Clearwater Beach to fulfill another dream. I needed to see the ocean and Maggie was begging to see Winter and Hope from Dolphin Tale. We were not disappointed. I got to show my babies the ocean and the beach and we collected SO many seashells and even found a crab. So much joy and memories were made that I had kids weeping because we had to leave Florida. You know that it's been a good vacation when that happens.












Not only are we grateful for the financial blessings for this trip, but God also provided me with the peace, patience and joy needed to make this trip the best ever for our children. I struggle greatly with social anxiety and it had snowballed to totally consuming the couple weeks leading up to the trip. I prayed daily for God to relieve me of this and after praying with my face on the floor one afternoon, He gave me wisdom. Since the fire, I had not taken a very important supplement that regulates my thyroid. I believe He reminded me of that and within 30 minutes of taking it, I was 90% better, glory to God. I was able to take 7 kids through busy, busy airports and to Disney World at night without having a panic attack - although that did come at the end of the trip, which led to a memorable landing in Dallas and medical pre-boarding for the rest of my life. ;)

To update everyone on Judah, God gave me wisdom a couple weeks before we left regarding his feeding issues. I was able to find bottles made for babies with cleft palates, who can't create suction, and they have worked perfectly for Judah. Although he doesn't have a cleft palate, he could not create enough suction despite being very hungry. He is consistently taking 6oz at every feeding now. Praise God! He is more alert, cooing often and even smiled for his Mimi multiple times while we were gone. God is so good.

We are praying that all of our family and friends have a blessed holiday season and that God will be continually glorified in your lives as you seek Him first. Merry Christmas from the Pedigos!

And to our generous friend that allowed God to use you in such a big way, thank you for making our seemingly impossible dreams come true!


"From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets,
the name of the LORD is to be praised."
Psalm 113:3

Saturday, January 14, 2017

2016 - Year in Review

I think it's safe to say that 2016 was our most eventful year to date. That's saying a lot looking back at the past 5 years especially.

On January 27, we finalized the adoption of our 8th child. God provided everything we needed and more through our family, friends and church.


The next few months were filled with minimal sleep, buckets of tears and multiple days saying "goodbye" to Judah. He had so many brushes with death. Twice his shunt malfunctioned and we were told that we could lose him within hours. He refused to eat for 3 straight days at one point, had multiple respiratory viruses that we were afraid would turn into pneumonia.



The scariest two days were when we put him on a medication for hypertonia and he reacted horribly to it and began seizing uncontrollably, throwing up almost constantly. I planned his funeral every time we had a scare. By the time June rolled around, I felt like I couldn't take much more of the rollercoaster. Just when I thought life couldn't get more traumatic and unpredictable, our house caught on fire.

On June 17, life as we knew it, ended. My beautiful house, that my husband worked so hard on for so many years was gone. Gone to us anyway - it sat there for 4 months, just as the day we left it. Mold growing up the walls, our belongings strewn about, soaked and covered in ashes. Eventually we received compensation for our contents and the entire house was gutted. As of writing this, it is bare - no walls, floors, everything has to be completely redone. We are still waiting, 7 months later, to get a final word on whether they will rebuild or total it.


In the midst of uncertainty and "what if" scenarios, God's sovereignty held strong. I felt overwhelmed, but incredibly at peace, knowing that God was completely in control of the situation. The fire happened upstairs during the day. Judah was upstairs asleep. Had the water pipe not melted and sent the fire the opposite direction of his room, we obviously would have lost him. If my daughter hadn't woken up early from her nap, we would have lost her when the fire went to her room instead of Judah's. If Seth hadn't been home for that 1 hour lunch, I don't think I would have been able to hold my breath long enough to save Judah. I have never felt so much protection from the Lord and His angels than I did that day. My faith is stronger because of this trial. I am thankful for that.

I begged God to give me a reprieve from Judah's health rollercoaster after the fire and He so graciously answered my prayer. Since the fire, Judah has been the healthiest and most content that he has ever been. On September 23, we miraculously celebrated his 1st birthday, which is statistically unheard of.


We have received answers to prayer that have blown us away. In December, multiple dreams came true when we went Florida, while Judah stayed here with family and friends. It was an amazing week and I am so thankful to Jesus for making the impossible happen so many times this year for us.


I jotted down a few goals for this next year, but they can all be summed up into one. I pray that at the end of 2017, I will be more like Jesus than I am today. I don't know what trials I will have to joyfully endure to meet that goal, but I know that He will be there with me every step of the way. Happy New Year friends.


"If life were stable, I’d never need God’s help. Since it’s not, I reach out for Him regularly. I am thankful for the unknowns and that I don’t have control, because it makes me run to God." -Francis Chan




Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Christmas 2016


Except for a few of us being sick, we had a great Christmas. Gingerbread houses were decorated, over 70 presents were wrapped and squeals of joy were had by all. As I edited all the pictures, I had a mixture of feelings. Thankfulness for God's incredible providence, joy from the memories we made in this new, yet temporary house and sadness thinking about how this time next year, we might be somewhere else. We strive to hold onto things loosely, so that if God asks us to give them up, we can do it with minimal hesitation. Admittedly though, it's tough living without a sense of permanence, but it's part of the sanctification process that the Lord is taking us through right now. We are grateful for these trials, because through them, we are becoming more like Him.

"For this world is not our permanent home; we are looking forward to a home yet to come..." Hebrews 13:14

I am proud to share that even before we could mention it on Christmas morning, 3 of our children asked if they could read the Christmas story and pray before opening presents. They all sat patiently and honored God by sharing the story of Jesus' birth. I'm so thankful and it was my favorite part of Christmas this year. Granted, they have developed entitlement issues like most children do after the mountains of presents they received, but their desire to put Him first encourages me that they're on the right track. :)

Merry Christmas!


























Wednesday, December 21, 2016

My First Year as a Special Needs Mom

I've been hesitant to take the title of "Special Needs Mom" this past year. Maybe because we CHOSE to adopt a severely disabled child or because for many months, Judah's behavior was somewhat age-appropriate and it wasn't obvious to anyone else that he was disabled. I haven't walked the path of many mamas who have to constantly fight with their insurance company or advocate for therapy or special equipment or spend weeks in the hospital. I am so thankful for that, because honestly, I don't know how we would have managed with our 7 older children. When God called us to this, I didn't know what it would look like, I just trusted that He would work it all out and He most definitely has.

Currently, Judah is weighing around 13 pounds at 15 months old. He has 4 teeth and working on a few more. His diet will consist solely of formula until he is 2. His new specialty feeding bottles are great and he averages 5-6oz each feeding when he's not teething. His medication for his hypertonia is still working beautifully. I love watching him stretch his legs out all the time now. He has many seizures everyday, but they don't seem to bother him at all and we are thankful. His VP shunt has not malfunctioned in over 6 months, praise God! We have been with a new pediatric hospice for a couple months now and are so thankful for them. It is so reassuring to have someone knowledgeable come out to the house every week.

I have many people who have asked about a feeding tube and after much prayer and speaking with two neurologists, we are not planning on doing that. Because of Judah's diagnosis (hydranencephaly), we feel that the Lord does not want any additional medical interventions to lengthen his life. If the Lord wants him to live, He will enable him to do so. He has already shown His sovereignty many times in Judah's life as He has rescued him from death's doorstep. We completely trust Him and if He leads us down another path, we will obey then too.

One thing that I'm getting used to is how people react - or don't react - to him. I've been blown away by those who hold him and lavish love on him every chance they get. I'm also often surprised by people in our life who pretend he's not in my arms when we're having a conversation. They don't look at him, touch him or ask to hold him. I didn't realize that because of their discomfort or ignorance about his condition, that he would be "invisible" to many. I didn't realize how much that would break my heart. He is so lovable and such a blessing from the Lord, I guess I will have to make peace with the fact that it is their loss.







Saturday, December 10, 2016

God is Faithful

"To the faithful You show Yourself faithful..." 2 Sam. 22:26a

I read this scripture this morning as I finished up 2 Samuel and it rested heavily on me. With the help of the Holy Spirit, we have strived to trust in the Lord and glorify Him this past year no matter what trial we encountered and HE has rewarded us greatly. Truly, there are no words that can express our gratitude and awe of what God has done over the past few weeks.

Earlier this year, my mom's side of the family began planning a family reunion in Florida. We prayed that if it was the Lord's will, He would provide a way for us to go. It did not come and we saw the Lord's wisdom in that as the date for the reunion came closer. We lost our home in a fire just one week before the reunion happened. Had we attempted to go at that time, we would have had to cancel all of our plans and lost who knows how much money.

Less than 6 months later, we received an incredibly generous and anonymous offer to send our family to Disney World for vacation. I have prayed for years for this impossible dream to become a reality. With our family and financial situation, it was a dream that I had written off completely. God loves to prove me wrong and He does it often. I'm so thankful for that! We planned our trip quickly, because Judah has been so stable and is doing so well. God provided a dear friend and my mother to watch him, so that we could be fully present for our 7 oldest. We were able to watch our children experience flying for the first time! I will never forget the laughter and excitement as we took off. We found an amazing house to rent near Disney for $99/night! It was such a blessing. It had a heated pool for the kids, plenty of room and access to a great resort pool and a park down the street.





One morning, the kids were swimming and I was reading my Bible. We recited Psalm 91 together and not 5 minutes later, a skywriter began writing messages. They were so clearly from the Lord, that it still gives me God goosebumps thinking about it. All in all, he wrote three messages -

"U + GOD = 😄"
"JESUS LOVES U"
"JESUS GIVES"



We serve an amazing God that will show off in ways you never imagined if only you will seek and obey Him.

The kids loved Disney! We attended the Christmas party and were able to ride more rides because of being able to stay in the park late at night. They were tuckered out when we left around 11pm.





The kids begged to go to LEGOLAND while we were there as well, so we planned a day for that. While researching tickets, I found a homeschool discount that saved us a total of $850! Instead of paying $99/ticket, we paid $15! WOW! Thank You Jesus! Not only that, but when we went, there was barely anyone there. The kids rode rides over and over again because there were no lines.




One of my favorite parts of the trip was seeing family that I hadn't seen in years and being able to meet their children and watch as the "new" cousins hit it off instantly. Thank you from the bottom of my heart to the family that came to see us. We love you all so much.




After LEGOLAND, we made the 90 mile drive to Clearwater Beach to fulfill another dream. I needed to see the ocean and Maggie was begging to see Winter and Hope from Dolphin Tale. We were not disappointed. I got to show my babies the ocean and the beach and we collected SO many seashells and even found a crab. So much joy and memories were made that I had kids weeping because we had to leave Florida. You know that it's been a good vacation when that happens.












Not only are we grateful for the financial blessings for this trip, but God also provided me with the peace, patience and joy needed to make this trip the best ever for our children. I struggle greatly with social anxiety and it had snowballed to totally consuming the couple weeks leading up to the trip. I prayed daily for God to relieve me of this and after praying with my face on the floor one afternoon, He gave me wisdom. Since the fire, I had not taken a very important supplement that regulates my thyroid. I believe He reminded me of that and within 30 minutes of taking it, I was 90% better, glory to God. I was able to take 7 kids through busy, busy airports and to Disney World at night without having a panic attack - although that did come at the end of the trip, which led to a memorable landing in Dallas and medical pre-boarding for the rest of my life. ;)

To update everyone on Judah, God gave me wisdom a couple weeks before we left regarding his feeding issues. I was able to find bottles made for babies with cleft palates, who can't create suction, and they have worked perfectly for Judah. Although he doesn't have a cleft palate, he could not create enough suction despite being very hungry. He is consistently taking 6oz at every feeding now. Praise God! He is more alert, cooing often and even smiled for his Mimi multiple times while we were gone. God is so good.

We are praying that all of our family and friends have a blessed holiday season and that God will be continually glorified in your lives as you seek Him first. Merry Christmas from the Pedigos!

And to our generous friend that allowed God to use you in such a big way, thank you for making our seemingly impossible dreams come true!


"From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets,
the name of the LORD is to be praised."
Psalm 113:3