Thursday, March 13, 2014

The Julien brothers - matching swimming trunks

James was pretty excited to find matching swimming trunks for Luke and him!  And they have orange on them!  Both boys tried them on and they might have to be next year's trunks.

It is so sweet to watch James interact with his baby brother.  You can tell he is in love.  Sometimes he can hardly hold his emotions at bay.  He loves holding and rocking him, singing him silly songs, laying down next to him, and his favorite part, is rubbing Luke's spiky hair! He's such a wonderful brother!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Joshua 1:9

 "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go." - Joshua 1:9                                   

This is one of our favorite verses from GT and the Halo Express, and has been stuck in my head all day. As we navigate these uncertain times, I am constantly reminded that we are not alone. I definitely felt His presence today with me during my first day back at work.  I knew it was going to be emotional, but I also felt a sense of peace knowing that this would allow me to heal.  I had pre-warned my teammates that I would probably cry before and after school, but that I would keep it together for my students.  Seeing my wonderful co-workers and my amazing class of 6th graders was such a gift.  I am so fortunate to be able to teach part-time and also spend part of my week at home with my beautiful kiddos.  I was only able to go back this time around knowing that Luke and James were in such loving care.  Our daycare provider Susie is a blessing.  I know that she not only is good at what she does, but that she loves my children.  When I came to pick the boys up today, I walked in and little Luke look straight at me. It's all I needed to make my day complete. :)

Right now we are in the process of trying to find a good family counselor.  We got a couple recommendations and are always open for suggestions.  We would love to find a Christian counselor who specializes in children with disabilities.  Also, our pediatrician called tonight, and she put in a referral to start PT down at Children's in Minnetonka.  It feels hopeful to start moving forward.

Again, thank you everyone for your thoughts and prayers! We continue to feel God's loving arms around us.  We know that he purposely placed little Luke in our lives, and we are thankful that he entrusted us, Stefan and Betsy, to be his parents.  Don't get me wrong, it's still really hard, really sad, and feels really discouraging at times!  But we place our full trust and our hearts in our heavenly Father knowing that he has a greater plan for our life, and that plan is better than we could ever imagine.  As long as we continue to trust, live for today and cast our worries to him.

Lots of love! The MN Juliens 

Sunday, March 09, 2014

Home sweet home

Even though home feels like a safe place, Friday was a real low for Stefan and I emotionally.  We could tell our patience was short with Addie and James, we just wanted to be left alone, and I couldn't stop randomly crying.  I was explaining to Addie what was different about Luke's brain, and she just looked at the tears in my eyes, and with a soft voice said, "You mean he can't walk, or talk, or play with me?" I told her I didn't know and that only God knew how little Luke would grow and what he'd be able to do.  She decided to say a prayer, and here's what she said, "Dear God, I pray that Luke will one day be able to walk and play barbies with me and that he will be able to talk to me.  And God I pray that you make mommy stop crying."

At that moment, I knew that no matter what kind of pain Stefan and I were going through, Addie and James were going through the pain of watching their parents grieve.  It is okay to grieve, but I realized that we have two other very fragile children who all they wanted was to be loved, right now.  After everyone went to bed, Stefan and I talked, cried, and prayed for a long time together.  God revealed that we can still grieve, but that we need to spend time, just as a family, holding on to that sense of normal.

Saturday morning, we woke up and made muffins and had a fun filled morning of play time.  Undivided family attention.  Just what the doctor and God ordered. :)

Saturday afternoon our wonderful friends organized a lunch and playdate and just surrounded us with love.  They were there to simply listen, not to fix, or give advice, just to be there with us.  It is such a blessing to know that we get to do life with these friends.  They then sent us home with a ton of meals!  That night we got together with my side of the family for Mimi's birthday.  Again, so wonderful to be surrounded by love.

Stefan and I are continually amazed at how God has and is specifically placing certain people into our lives for a reason.  Every person we were in contact with the past 3 days was not only a Christian, but a strong one: our wonderful nurse, pediatrician, neurologist, speech pathologist, special education teacher, the deaf organization leader that came to our house, etc.  They not only comforted us, but were able to back up what we already knew.  God placed Luke into our lives on purpose, for a reason he chose our special family and through all of this He will be glorified.  We are so uncertain of our future, but cling to the hopes of today.  God commands us not to worry about the future, but to know that he is here, right now, walking right along side of us!

Thank you all for your prayers and thoughts.  We ask more than ever, that you surround our family with prayers.  I head back to work tomorrow and little Luke off to Susie's.  :) We prayed long and hard, and I know that teaching and having a sense of routine in our lives right now is a good thing.  Luke will be so well loved and stimulated.  I have such an amazing team at my school and know that they will be there for me and help my transition back to work go well.

Lots of love to all of you from balmy Minnesota!

Love, The MN Juliens