Why We Call Our Blog the Miracle of More

The miracle is a beautiful image of Ephesians 3:20--more than I can ask or imagine. Every day is a miracle. Every moment is a miracle. Specifically for our family, the miracle of more is our family growing in ways I would never have imagined when we first committed to adoption 8 years ago. But, the greatest miracle is the change in ME!

If you have questions about adoption, our work in South Africa, or spina bifida, please email me at rbmattox@bellsouth.net

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Ellie Update

Thank you all for your prayers! Ellie was such a trooper yesterday, endured 2 tests with catheters, an ultrasound, 2 more x-rays, 2 doctor's visits, and a visit with orthotics. She charmed everyone!
We had "wierd" news, good news, bad news, iffy news....
First, we learned that she has only 1 kidney! Big News Flash!The good news is....her only kidney looks good.
The bad news is that her bladder is only holding about an ounce of liquid before she urinates. It seemed, too, that she didn't "feel" the cather being inserted, so her sensation is not good.
The iffy news...is that during the summer we will start medication to calm down her bladder so it does not continue to overwork. It is possible after retraining her bladder that she could potty train. Possible.....still gives mes hope. It will be some time before the doctor can help me make that decision.
Again, thank you for your prayers....I felt the sweet peace of Jesus throughout the day.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Busy, Busy, February

I hope you enjoy this picture of Ellie and her future husband. :)

The month of February has included Ellie's birthday party, Josie-Tatum's Gotcha Day, the girls ahd the flu, Valentine's Day, Chinese New Year, 2 friends' birthday parties, and don't forget Caleb and Brandon are playing tennis and soccer. Oh my! No wonder I'm tired.

Before I share pictures, please let me ask for prayers: Ellie will have extensive tests on Wednesday, February 27th. She will have several diagnostic procedures followed by an appointment with the urologist. Children with spina bifida often have urological problems. We will learn many things on Tuesday, if she is incontinent, if we will need to catheter one or more times a day. This is weighing heavy on my heart. We knew these were possibilities when we committed to Ellie. We know God is walking with us. We ask for perfect healing, but, if God chooses another path, we pray his added grace and strenght for Ellie and for us as we teach her that she is fearfully and wonderfully made, in the image of Almighty God.


The day after Ellie's birthday was Josie-Tatum's 4th Gotcha Day! It is so hard to believe we've been home 4 years! Check out that picture in the side bar of our first sight of her. Her smile brightens my day. She is a joy, and so compassionate, loving to her baby sister...well, most of the time. I took her with me to one of Ellie's appts in Jacksonville, so I could spend more time with her. When we got home, the family went out to eat Chinese food. That was Josie-Tatum's choice. We gave her a ring that says "Princess" because she is indeed our little princess.

Both of the girls had the flu, Ellie first, then Josie-Tatum. I stayed home from work one day, the other days they stayed with Grandma. (Praise the LORD for Grandma.) When Josie-Tatum's fever broke some, (she had been so sick), we made Chinese lanterns. It was the week of Chinese New Year. The girls had a good time, and I admit I did, too.

All of the lanterns decorated the dining room table, and some hung from the chandelier. And, yes, the girls ARE standing on the table. Do they look sick with the flu? Yes, Josie-Tatum's temperature was well over 100.

Does God answer the prayers of a faith-filled 5 year old?
Josie-Tatum and Ellie had the flu, and Josie-Tatum's fever was never under 100.4, even with medication all day on Friday. She wanted so desperately to attend a Chinese New Year celebration in Jacksonville ,Florida on Saturday. The doctor said, "No Chinese New Year celebration unless the fever is under 100." Well, Josie-Tatum asked me that night, "Who can we ask to pray for me, so I can go to Chinese New Year?" We called Grandma, Grandpa, and Aunt Bobbie. Then she said, "Mama, you keep praying until you fall asleep asking Jesus to take away my fever."
When she woke up Saturday morning, she walked into my bedroom and said, "When can you take my temperature?" And, it was 97.7! Here we are celebrating!

Josie-Tatum asked for a fan in China. We bought one and haven't seen it since. I know it was in our hotel room at the White Swan, but...and could you help me pray I find our DVD's of our China trip??? Please....I can't find them anywhere.

But, here is JT with the fan we bought from a vendor at CNY.

What Ellie thinks of Chinese drums. Note the fingers in the ears.

So, maybe, if I hide behind the back of this chair, I can be brave enough to peak at the Lion Dance with that loud drum banging in the background.

Josie-Tatum and Ellie's buddies went with us to Jacksonville to celebrate Chinese New Year. It's become a family tradition for our families to celebrate together. As a matter of fact, the first year we went, we left the next day for China to bring Josie-Tatum home. All of the others have followed in the last 4 years. Aren't those beautiful kids? (Please note the future husband in green.)

And, lastly we enjoyed the birthday party of a friend this weekend, another beautiful "winter" day in south Georgia. (The weather will be much colder the middle of this week.) God has blessed us in our little town with several friends who have also adopted from China. This birthday just happened to be at the home of Ellie's future husband, also adopted this year, and only 2 1/2 months older than Ellie. His brother turned 4!

Josie-Tatum enjoying the birthday party of Ellie's future brother-in-law. She is such a gymnast and was quite proud of the tricks she could do on the bar.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

More Soccer Pics

The girls are better! We didn't make it to the soccer game, but we did make it to a CHinese New Year celebration in Jacksonville. Praise the LORD! Here are pictures taken by a friend. I"ll post pictures from CNY later. Today is a dentist appt in the afternoon, followed by baths, supper, and then a soccer game where the girls will wear their PJ's under their warm up suits. Oh, the things a Mom will do.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Judges, Doctors, Bombs, and the Flu

What a day!

First, Ellie woke up with a high fever, took her to the doctor, it's the flu.

The doctor's appt was previously scheduled. I had plans to talk with Ellie's primary care physician about the mixed messages I had received from her pediatric orthopedist. We made plans for a change. We now plan to take Ellie to Shriner's Hospital in Tampa, Fl. We hope to develop a more specific plan for repairing her hip. Please keep praying.

Then, Brandon called. He was in Savannah, 2 hours away from home. They were supposed to be playing soccer. There was a bomb threat. I made him promise to call back soon. He did, and the game had resumed.

Then I had a phone call from the Clerk of Court. We have turned in documents for the domestication of Ellie's and Josie-Tatum's adoptions. (This would be like readopting them here in the US. The primary purpose is to have US records of their adoption and obtain a GA birth certificate.) Anyway, long story short, there was a failure to communciate, error somewhere. Our date for court is March 6, but the judge's secretary had today's date. According to them, we were to show up in court today, we didn't, so the case was dismissed. Now what???? The clerk of court said call the judge's office tomorrow.

So, after all of that, I'm going to try to get some sleep!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Soccer and Stuff

Check out my blonde-headed son! What an awesome photo taken by a friend. The weather was beautiful for the starting game of the season. I told Brandon that when Caleb took up tennis 5 years ago, I bought the book Tennis for Dummies, so I would know what was going on. Now that we've added Brandon to our family, I'll have to buy The Complete Idiot's Guide to Soccer. :)
Okay, I don't think this second action shot is a play that will go in the record books, but, as you can see, Brandon takes his soccer seriously.

Sometimes the girls are so sweet! We had such a busy week last week. Monday, many errands after school, Tuesday was Josie-Tatum's Gotcha Day, which I'd like to reflect more on, maybe later. Tuesday we drove to Jacksonville for a dr's appt for Ellie, then back home and out to eat to celebrate Gotcha. Wednesday was church. Thursday was a birthday party in the evening.

I was so tired on Thursday at the party, but Josie-Tatum blessed me more than she will ever know. She spent much of her time with her sister at the party. She played with her friends, but she kept coming back to Ellie. She helped her climb, slide, and bounce. She was protective if somebody bumped into her sister or pushed past her. It was a precious sight that brought tears to the eyes of a tired Mama.

On Saturday, we sat on blankets as we watched Brandon's 3 scrimmage soccer games. The girls enjoyed the sunshine, rolling around each other on the blanket. They sang Chinese songs from Mei Mei videos and became quite the entertainment for our neighbors. Unknown to me, the same friend photographing the boys playing the game had begun to photograph the girls. When Josie-Tatum realized what was going on, she started posing and setting up the poses

Please continue to pray for us and Ellie was we visit doctors and sort through all the medical information. We need wisdom from above for proceeding with her orthapedic care.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Birthday Girl

Ellie knew for days her birthday was coming. You could ask, "Who's having a birthday?" And she would shout, "Me!" while patting her chest. Somehow, Josie-Tatum had a birthday hat, and she wore it 2 different nights at the supper table. This night was her actual birthday, and she's wearing the pajamas from Aunt Melanie.

We had her birthday party at the city park. The weather at the park was beautiful. We had a spectacular "winter" day in south Georgia. It was perfect for a birthday party. All the little kids played, and I had all 5 of my kids in one place so I could try to take a picture.

Turn your head!

Okay, turn your head again, sideways. ;) I should have rotated the pictures, and I forgot. Brandon was looking forward to capturing an interesting look on Josie-Tatum's face for the camera. How 'bout that look on his face? Who's having more fun?

Between college full time and working part time, Whitney's not home much. I finally had the camera nearby to catch a photo of Whit and E playing together.

This is my mom. One of Ellie's favorite sentences, "I want go see Bama (Grandma.) Thank you, LORD, she lives next door!

They're so cute when they're playing well together!

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