Coach Chapman's Blog

All right, do you remember how recently I have been telling you about sweet and loving Fahlin has been lately? Ha, it was all a ruse! The holy terrorizer known as Nashy, our grandson is in town, and well, the jealousy bug has hit Fahl Fahl big-time. It’s kind of weird, one minute they are best buds, the next he’s pummeling her (as only 2 year olds can pummel). And, Fahlin is kind of a diva.

She will push Nash out of the way when he is in front of the TV, and likewise, Nash with put his arms out and ‘hog’ the TV while telling everyone to, “not watch.” It is actually a battle of wills, Fahlin’s 8 year old will vs. that of a 2½ year old.

As a result of all of this, having Nash around is more than Fahlin can handle. She likes ‘her world’ to be ‘her world’ with no intrusions, but as we all know, toddlers, especially little boy toddlers can be quite…unintentionally demanding. When he wants her attention, he wants it NOW. But the timing has to be on her terms, not his, thus, the consternation. And boy, when consternation sets in, it boils over as screaming, or crying, or yelling, “Naaaaash!” When it does boil over, it takes awhile to get everything back to normal.

It is kind of funny watching a little kid terrorize a bigger kid (is that bad that I think that?). I know though, that Fahlin wants to just haul off and bash him, but she resists because she knows she is the older child and the Aunt, and that Aunts bashing their nephew would not be good. So she goes with one of her fallbacks. Poor Fahlin. It is hard being her.

Really though, I couldn’t imagine what it is like being her. A new family, heart issues to deal with, and now a nuisance nephew. “What is my life coming to,” she must be thinking? But, when all is said and done, she knows she is loved, she loves in return and if you listen closely, you hear her tell Nash, “I love you.”

Read More about February 21, 2018

BURP…BURP…BURP…

“Fahlin, stop burping,” came the cry from my wife while cooking in the kitchen. “Who made you so gross?”

All of a sudden, a little gecko finger was pointing straight at the gentleman in the kitchen who was just standing there minding his own business…ME! [I just now discovered from my computer’s spell and grammar check that using ‘his own’ is a reflexive pronoun and should consider revising…nope, not gonna.]

“Me?” I replied with animated laughter. “Me? What are you talking about? I would never do such a thing as to teach my little girls to be gross…nooooo, not me…”

Maybe, when I’m tucking them (Fahlin and Jayne) in at night I shouldn’t pick up the ukulele and sing the silly Poopy-Butt song.  Or perhaps I shouldn’t sing the Jayne Likes to Toot, song or even the ever-popular Fahlin Likes to Burp song. Maybe that’s where they get it?  Surely not.

Anyway, truth be told, full disclosure, Fahlin can and often does make her self burp. And burp. And burp. I did not teach her that…promise! Sometimes, she doesn’t even know she’s doing it and we have to remind her to stop, which also ends up in louder burps, followed by giggles and all out laughter.

The best part about the burping, especially if she keeps it up into her teenage years, I won’t have to worry about boys, that’s for sure. Who wants to date the ‘burping girl?’ I’m smiling right here thinking about that. In fact, now that I think about it even more, keep it up Fahlin, keep it up!

Read More about February 17, 2018

Now that the whirlwind known as the ‘end of the swim season’ is over, I have immediately turned my thoughts to Fahlin’s upcoming procedure and probable surgery. It’s nice to have something to distract you, but when the buzy-ness settles down a bit, reality sets in. Our reality is that we have a little girl with a super sick heart who is not out of the woods yet, though at first and second and even third glance, one would assume she had never been in the woods in the first place.

Upon further inspection, you would have to look closely to find what we call her ‘gecko hands.’ The clubbing that occurs with a child with a heart condition is usually pretty noticeable…and blu-ish. Fahlin’s clubbing has improved a immensely and her color is absolutely better, no doubt about it.

But I want to stay guarded. I still worry a lot. My wife follows the Facebook story of another little heart baby that has had a very difficult road. She will not let me read it. She knows me so well. She knows that I would fall apart and go into full on panic mode if I actually knew what was really going on, not only with the little girl’s story she follows, but the seriousness of Fahlin’s situation as well. Yolanda, being in the medical profession knows all kinds of scary stuff. And she is wise to not tell me and I am wise not to ask too many questions…at lest for now. I am sure when we close to the upcoming procedures, I will have plenty.

You know, by this time in our lives, we at one point figured we would be planning our retirement years, but alas, retirement will never happen, it seems. It’s okay though; for we know this is our calling. God continues to provide for us on daily basis. He has worked miracle after miracle in Fahlin’s life and we have no reason to doubt He will continue to keep his hand on this little girl…and me…and my wife…and our family.

Finally, FYI, starting on week six of Fahlin liking her Dad. I like her this way.

Read More about February 13, 2018

Jan

Yesterday, Jan 24th, marked the three year anniversary of Fahlin’s ‘Gotcha Day.’ Boy, that little girl has come a loooooooonnnnnng way. I remember very vividly how frightened she was. She had always wanted a family, but now, in that moment when that reality was staring her in the face, it was a scary idea. She was about to leave five years of life in the only place she ever knew, behind forever. She was about to venture out into a whole new world. Her little mind could not even comprehend the change that was about to happen. I often imagine what it would be like to uproot and leave everything I ever knew. We spoke no Chinese. Other than her daily pre-school class, she knew no English.

She was very sick. Closer to death than we ever imagined. We knew it was bad, in fact we went into the adoption with the understanding she may not live to Christmas. She was blue. Her lips, her gums, her tongue, her toes her fingers, were all blue. We loved her immediately. We had committed to doing anything and everything we could to nurse her back to health. Doctors in Nashville were waiting. Friends and family were praying.  At this point, the great unknown lies ahead of us.

China was cold, snowy and grey. The air quality not very good, the accommodations however, were quite nice. The food was, as always, outstanding. She didn’t talk to us. Her angry eyes were seemingly a permanent fixture on her face. She didn’t talk much, if at all. She was sad. She was apprehensive. She was lonely. And yet, we knew, with time all those feelings would fade away and she would embrace her new life, her new surroundings, her new siblings.

Now here it is, three years later. She didn’t pass away. In fact, she is healthier and stronger than she’s ever been. Her color is good. She is not blue. Her previous surgery and previous cath procedures have provided remarkable results. Fahlin has embraced family life. She loves her brothers, she loves her sisters (well, we’re not sure about Lydia), she loves her Mom and she even loves her Dad. She wants to take piano lessons. I did not know that, but we will put that ball in motion. These four adopted daughters of ours, these four DAUGHTERS of ours, have changed our lives, my life especially, in ways that cut deeply into my soul. It’s hard to explain, but I am better for it. As for Fahlin three years later?  One look at her tells us all we need to know. She is better. She is happier. She is adjusted. She is bright. She is charming. She is thriving. She is cute as can be. She is alive.

Read More about January 27, 2018
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