Actually it's from Ohio to Ukraine, back to Ohio, then to China

Saturday, March 28, 2009

three weeks until surgery

We have less than three weeks until the big surgery...and suprisingly, I am getting less nervous as it gets closer. I'm sure that will all change once we are days out from the surgery, but for now, I'll enjoy this. If I do start to think about it, I repeat the verse from Matthew 6:34 -
Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
Wes has an MRI next week, but other than that, not much until the big day. The MRI is being used to determine the exact make-up of Wesley's chest (mainly how much esophagus he has). We pretty much know that he has next to none, but our knowledge will be "official." The doctors will be able to see where his esophagus should connect to his stomach since he has no esophagus from his stomach up. From the top down, he pretty much only has the amount from the back of his mouth to the spit fistula on his neck. I cannot tell you how happy I will be to not have to deal with the spit fistula!!!!!!!!!!! I cannot even find words to describe my excitement :)
We have decided not to travel to Minnesota to meet with the doctor there. It was a difficult decision, but Damon and I think it is for the best. The doctor is not practicing much anymore, so it wouldn't be him doing the surgery, it would be someone he trained. From what I read from other families using the trained doctors, their success rate was not nearly what the original doctor's was. I also have to be honest, being away from home for at least another 2.5+ months did not look good to us.
Damon and I are happy to report that we are debt-free except for our home!!! We paid off the last of my school loans, and now we are onto baby step three: saving 3-6 months salary. Here are the steps from Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University:
1 - save $1000 to start an emergency fund
2 - pay off all your debt (except for your home) through the debt snowball
3 - save 3-6 months living expenses in an emergency fund
4 - invest 15% of your income in a Roth IRA and a pre-tax retirement fund
5 - college funding for children
6 - pay off your home early
7 - build wealth and give
If you are interested in taking the class for yourself (I highly recommend it), check out
Prayer requests:
- Dr. Lim (Wesley's surgeon) and the other doctors and nurses at the hospital
- my parents - they've been having some tough times, but they are persevering!
- my mother-in-law - she fell and broke her wrist
- me - I've come down with a horrible cold! Thankfully I have time to get over it before the surgery because my visiting the hospital would be restricted.
- our Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University classmates - so many of them have had very tough times financially, but through this class, things are dramatically improving.

I'll leave you with a few pictures.
- Staci

"playing" golf in the backyard
giggling after being tickled on the bed
Mom wears such great necklaces
we saw an airplane fly overhead, so Wes told me about it (probably a million times)

March 2009 - the swings in the park

November 2008 - look how tiny he was!!

some of the many faces of Wesley...
I don't know that I've ever seen a more expressive child I am not sure what this look says...
I love the raised eyebrow!


Missy said...

So, have you called Dave yet to show off your debt free scream? I am very happy for you that you have all your debt paid off. Dave will be too!

Staci and Damon said...

It's funny you ask that because I sent an email telling Dave that we had paid off everythign except the house and completed an expensive adoption debt-free, and he read it on air the next day!!! I was so excited!

Tami said...

I just love pictures of Wesley! He is just CUTE!!!!
Congrats on the debt-free...and on Dave reading your letter! I wish we could say the same thing. We are avid Dave followers - have been for many years, but have never been able to complete an international adoption without some serious debt. Now with the recent move things are even worse. But I'm not giving up. We are determined that some day we WILL make that call! :)

Anonymous said...

The look I see in the last photo is him doing #2 in his diaper. He gets into that pose and gets very serious-looking, at least at Grandma and Grandpa's house.
Love, Grma

LisaMarie said...

Congrats on being debt free! I wish we were able to do that! Unfortunately our debt is only going to grow in the next 6 months...Kendall will be buying into the practice in July...ugh. At least it's "good debt".

My favorite picture is the one on the bed after being tickled and the one in his Yo Gabba t-shirt. I love it! The necklace coordinates well with the monster. :)

Heidi and Felix said...

We will be praying for the surgery to go well.

Congrats on being debt-free. We too follow Dave's plan and we are on step 4. We paid off our house three years ago, but bought a bigger one for the kids we have adopted and the ones we will return for, so we have a mortgage again. We still own the paid-off house and the rent gets rolled right into the new house. We drive the same old cars and I love to get them fixed when something breaks instead of having a car payment.

The amazing part of all this is that you got debt free while adopting and facing the huge medical costs that are associted with this procedure. WOW!

Also, did you know that we had your facilitator, Olga, for our last adoption? She told us many stories about you...all good!

Congtats again!


Tim & Rita said...

Congrats on being debt free! I wish we could say the same, but I can say that it doesn't look like we will have to borrow for the adoption.

I love all of the pictures of Wesley! I think the raised eyebrow means that he is up to something and that very well could be what Grma said. :)

You are definitely in our prayers that the surgery will be problem-free.

The McEacherns said...

Congrats on being debt free! It's a great feeling, isn't it? While we haven't ever done Financial Peace, we have always tried to be good stewards of what God has given us. And He is always faithful to provide for us. It looks like we're going to be able to complete our adoption with no debt, too! Praise the Lord!

We'll be praying for Wesley's surgery. Blessings to you!

... said...

Staci & Damon congrats on your successful debt free goal! It's an awesome feeling not to be in debt.

Praying for a successful outcome with Wesley's surgery!


Christine said...

Wesley is so adorable! Three weeks will fly by. Then it will be over. I'm sure all of you will be fine though I am sure you are very concerned for your littl guy. Hang in there. THnaks for sharing about you being debt free! That is an inspiration!

adoptedthree said...

Good for you! Sounds like a great plan and well worth it!

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