The Thomas Crew

The Thomas Crew

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Donate Here:

I have received a few emails requesting to donate. Here is our donation link again :) Thank you!!  Donate Here



News report and Goals

The Thomas family was on ABC10 last night sharing Gavin's story. My wish is to show the world that Gavin is just a normal kido that needed a home. I hope to be an encouragement to others to Adopt!
10news Report

Goals!! We are half way to our fundraising goals for the costs to get Gavin through dialysis and the upcoming surgeries. I am also in the process of looking for a nanny to come care for our other children while Gavin goes to dialysis 3-4 times a week. We are at 1168 used shoes, amazing. We need 1500 used shoes for Angel Bins to come pick them up on January 5th. Please continue to clean out your closets and send us your used shoes. They will be helping Gavin and other families in need.  We are so grateful for all your help.
gofundme


Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Meeting a very special women

Yesterday we had the privilege to finally meet Nina! I feel like I have known her forever as she worked so hard to get Gavin home. It was a very special day and I was filled with many emotions on my drive home. I talked her ear off and still felt like I needed hours to get all my thought and questions out. Good thing we get to meet again tonight for dinner :) She loves Gavin and he loves her. He was signing her name this morning before the bus came asking where she was. I reassured him that we would see her again tonight. It still amazes me that she is his match. She is so determined to give him this gift. It rest my heart greatly to know that she really does want this. There is no apprehension for her. I actually think she would be upset if something happened which prevented her from donating. She is just amazing and I thank God he led us to her first. Now everything feels so much more real. The reality that my dear son will be loosing his kidney next month and going through dialysis before transplant is now way more REAL. The planning needs to start. We will need babysitters possible 3-4 times a week(I was told yesterday he could require 4 days a week dialysis). We will need meals prepared and children entertained. I will be calling on friends and family to get us through all of this. We need to push our shoe drive and raise the needed funds to keep us above water during this time.  I know We can't possible do this on our own. I also know we aren't alone in Gavin's battle. I can't help but feel terrified for the months to come. I have great faith in the doctors but fear for the pain and suffering Gavin will endure. I fear for our family and the stress this will take on everyone. I have great faith that God will bring us through all of this in one piece. When all is said and done Gavin will be HEALTHY and that is the ultimate goal.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

How to say Thank You......

I have no words to express how thankful we are. It is really amazing to have so many people love our little boy as much as we do. When we started this process I felt like everyone thought we were crazy. We had lots of support but I couldn't help but wonder what people really thought. In all honesty at times I thought maybe we were crazy and maybe we took on too much. All those possibilities ran through my head. I had to take a step back and get back down on my knees to remember who brought us to Gavin. How did this all start? Who brought me to my knees the moment I saw his picture? God called us to Gavin. He choose us to be his family. To love him, care for him and heal him.  We always wanted to adopt. We always wanted a big loving family. We had not planned to take on a very sick child. But really if you look at life it's not our plan at all. It is Gods plan and we were willing to listen and trust. In trusting him everything has worked out. At times I wonder how we will do this and then I am quickly reminded we are not alone. We are never alone. Look at all the wonderful people that have given their time, prayers, shoes, donations and soon a kidney to help Gavin.We have so much to be thankful for. Nina is packing her bags to fly here tomorrow. How is it that the very first person to be screened to donate is a match? The very same women that made Gavin's adoption possible. It is amazing what happens in life when you give him the steering wheel.




Tuesday, November 26, 2013

One Year Ago...

I remember getting up at 3am, 4am and 5am to check my email. You see when your in the process of an international adoption your email became your best friend. That morning I was waiting for a very important email. It came at 6:30am. With the subject header of Congrats from Nina our case worker and soon to be Gavin's kidney donor. On November 26, 2012 we became Gavin parents. He was no longer an orphan he was a Thomas and my fourth child(so I thought). God has amazing humor and later that evening as I came down the stairs in our home to the strong smell of bacon I realized something was different. When your adopting you often feel like your pregnant. It's called a paper pregnancy and a lot of the same emotions run through you:) But the double lines on the test that night showed me just how pregnant I really was. Not only did we became Gavin's parents that day, we also learned that little Nathan was on his way too. How big is our God well most of you would never expect with all our children that getting pregnant is a problem. For years we have struggled with infertility and many losses. When Bradley had his 3nd birthday I felt like it was hopeless. My heart ached for a large family but with each infertility treatment and each miscarriage came more loss and grief. After we had Kaitlyn I made a promise to God that it was up to him. I felt like I needed to let go and allow him to determine our family size. Now look at us! A beautiful family of seven and I have no idea what he has planned for us next.


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Gavin's Fight

People ask me all the time how this dear little boy survived for so long in an orphanage. You see Gavin was very sick when he first came home. I contemplated many times taking him to the hospital while we were in Bulgaria. All I kept praying was that we would make it home! Our first Red flag came as we were about to pull away from the orphanage. The director came out and said "Go straight to the store and buy water bottles"??? We just assumed he must like water. Yep, he sure did. He drank about 16oz every 30 minutes. Big Problem!  When we arrived at our first location which was for his medical exam I took him into the bathroom and found that he had 3 diapers on, Yes 3 that were soaking wet. This was also the first time I had even seen the catheter device he had out of his abdomen. I remember the moment pretty vividly. There I sat in a small bathroom stale with my new Son and I had no idea what I was doing. Yes I am a Nurse but I still had never dealt with this kind of catheter, water and diaper situation before let alone in a small bathroom stall with no place to lie him down. We dealt with the diaper, catheter, water situation for a few months once he got home. It was actually pretty horrible. When Gavin was diagnosis with Nephrogenic Diabetes Insipidus a rare disorder of the kidney it all made sense. This makes Gavin's renal failure twice as complicated. So how did Gavin survive for 6 years in an orphanage? All I can say is God had a strong grasp on his dear Son. He knew we were coming.

Tonight as I was preparing his mediation, feeding pump, injection and catheter I am reminded that God is still fully in control. All we have to do is Trust!!

Psalm 18:2 “The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.”


Friday, November 15, 2013

Make-A-Wish

The Make A Wish foundation is an organization that grants wishes to children with life-threatening illness. Gavin was referred a few months ago for a wish. His nephrologist and the Make A Wish team determined that he qualified and would be granted any wish he could dream of :) Our family spent time thinking and praying for Gavin's perfect wish. If Gavin could tell us his absolute wish what would it be? We wanted to plan Something to inspire him to continue to fight his kidney disease. Something to push him past the months to come of surgeries, hospital stays, pain and uncertainty. If there is one place he could go where would it be? DISNEYWORLD! Of course what child does not love Mickey Mouse. Gavin asks me often when we get in the car if we are going to Disneyland. He signs with his hands above his head to make Mickeys ears. He is also a very big fan of Buzz Light-year. So that is where we are headed. The Make A Wish team is in the process of planning it all right now. It will be 7 days away from doctor and procedures for Gavin. The entire trip is paid for by the foundation. An amazing blessing to our family and just what Gavin needs before transplant.
 
 
 
Make-A-Wish team came out to meet Gavin!

Update on Shoes and Nina

We are over 350 Pairs of Shoes!!! So many people have stepped up to help it's been amazing. It's so touching to have so many people wanting to help. We have received a lot of support from our Military community. It is like Christmas here, when I come home or wake up to find our box full of shoes! We still have a long way to go to hit our 5000 goal so please keep cleaning out those closets! Deadline is Dec 15th!!

Nina has also been fundraising for kidney cost Go Fund Nina. She will be taking off a lot of work to help our family. I don't know how to show my appreciation to her. I have dreams of watching her and Gavin go back to surgery together, WOW what an amazing gift. It is a very emotional time thinking and planning for the months to come for our families. She has started a blog from her point of view that I look forward to reading everyday. Its nice to see things from another perspective :) Her love for orphans is amazing and her heart is so beautiful. I cannot wait to meet her! Nina's Blog

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Nina's Story!!

Nina has started to share her story and answer the big question of "Why". She will be updating her blog daily to get caught up to where we are now. This week is a very stressful time for all of us, as we wait for the final test results. Please continue to pray for Nina, Gavin and our families as we wait.



http://alittlepieceofmysoul.wordpress.com/2013/11/07/the-beginning-of-the-story-2/

Sunday, November 3, 2013

School Day

Gavin is such a happy thankful little boy. You would never know all he has been through when you meet him. He is always smiling, laughing and usually running! He started school this past week. The school bus comes Very early every morning but he is getting used to it :) he comes home every day with a new sign that I then search the Internet for or ask online. It's really amazing how much communication he has learned in 10 months. Everyone that meets Gavin always comments on his excitement for new things and to please others. It's been amazing the new friends God has brought into our lives and continues to because of Gavin. Today I am thankful most for new friends. Strangers that are touched by our story and reach out to help.




Saturday, November 2, 2013

Transplant costs

We are fundraising to help with the upcoming cost of Gavins transplant. Gavin's one bad kidney will need to be removed 4-6 weeks prior to transplant. During that period he is going to need dialysis 3 times a week. The only dialysis center for him is 50 min away. We are praying we can raise the funds to provide for this difficult time. Gas and daycare for our other 4 children is going to be Big! We are also uncertain if we will receive a grant for the donors travel cost. The kidney donor does not live in California and will need to travel here twice. Once to meet the doctors and run a few test and the second time for surgery. This is why we are reaching out once again for help. I know God will continue to provide and get us through this difficult time to come. If you feel led to help here is our link: http://www.gofundme.com/Gavins-kidney-fund Please continue to Pray for our Prince!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Kicks for a Kidney

It is time to start fundraising again! Fundraising is a very humbling experience. It is an emotional roller-coaster but it needs to be done to provide. God led us down this path and I know he will continue to provide all the way through it! You see Gavin's story is just beginning!!  We kicked of Kicks for a Kidney today!! and I had our first pair of shoes within the first 30min. Our goal is 5000 shoes!! BIG GOAL but it can be done! What's even more amazing is these shoes will not only help us they will help many many families that need shoes!  If you have any shoes with no holes and intact soles we would love them!! I have also set up a page on GoFundMe here : http://www.gofundme.com/528zzc

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Who Is Nina??

Perfect title for all the emails and PMs I have received today. What an AMAZING day it has been. We found out today that Gavin and Ninas blood is a MATCH! She has been going through the screening process for the last month to give Gavin a kidney. The next step is for her to fly to California and have the final testing done. If she passes the final steps then she can donate to him. WOW!! That leaves the question everyone is dying to know. Who is Nina??  Nina works for Children House International. She is the case worker that facilitated every step of the way for us to bring Gavin home. She was the first women I spook to about International adoption and she held my hand the entire time. She kept me from loosing it after months and months of paperwork. She emailed us at 6am when we passed court. She has been an amazing blessing to so many families and so many orphans. I cannot say enough good things about this fabulous Women.  She has never met us or Gavin but felt led to do this. She really wants to do this. What an amazing sacrifice someone would do to save someones life. How do you thank someone for going through all of this? I don't think you can, all I can do is pray she knows my heart and that I am beyond grateful.  God has a hand at every step of this journey.  Please Pray for Nina and Pray that her trip to California will be successful.

Monday, September 9, 2013

It's been Forever

Wow A lot has happened since my last post. First off I had a beautiful new Baby boy on 7-7-2013 named Nathan William Thomas. He is doing great and growing by the day.

Gavin is also changing every day. He just spent another 5 days in the hospital and was discharged two days ago. His kidney is slowing going down hill as we expected :( The good news is he is now on the waiting kidney donor list and we are in the process of screening someone to donate to him! Please pray with us that his perfect match will be found prior to needing dialysis. Gavin also recently got hearing aids! This has been a BIG step for our little boy that came home with no communication at all. He is still learning signs every day and getting used to being able to hear more. It's a very slow process with lots of learning to come.  I hope to keep you all more updated now that things are slowing down slightly with having a newborn :)



Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Update- back in hospital

After 4 weeks in the hospital we were finally discharged last Thursday. We left knowing we might be right back within a few days. Even with these warnings we stayed positive and tried to get everything and everyone organized into our new routine at home. This included 3 new tubes that needed to be cared for and lots of medications, feeding and draining urine. I started to feel like we were getting into a grove by Sunday but Gavin only seemed to be getting worse. He was vomiting and not tolerating meds and feedings. By the third day home his urine output had decreased and I just knew we were in trouble. On Monday he went in for lab work which showed his kidney function was horrible. Worse then it has ever been. We tried some treatment at home Monday night to try and get his labs more stable but it only prolonged the fact that we were headed back to Rady's children's hospital. Our new home away from home. So we are back in the hospital and Gavin's headed for yet another surgery in 2 hours. We found out yesterday that his kidney is swollen(nephrohydrosis) again. We are running out of surgical options and I can feel the frustration from the specialist. Gavin's not "text book" and it's hard to figure out what's going to work for him.  I love his doctors and have to continue to trust Gods got this under control. Today they will put in another device in his kidney, ureter and bladder. We are praying for success. Gavin has been given a time frame of 1-2 years before a transplant but if we can't these problems under control he's going to need a new kidney very soon. I have no idea how our Prince survived in the orphanage for 6 years. The doctors don't know how he possible did it either. All I can say is God knew we were coming to rescue him. I believe with all my heart God held him so tight just waiting for us to step up and listen.

Friday, May 3, 2013

2 Weeks is too long!!


Its been exactly 2 weeks now that Gavin has been in the hospital. We have had many ups and downs in the last 2 weeks. His spirit and love for life continues to shine through to everyone that touches their healing hand to his. Our prayer tonight is that our Bulgarian Prince will continue to heal and come home SOON. We miss him so much.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Love has no boundaries, no rules and no instruction manuals!

Not sure where to begin, as its been such a roller coaster this last week. Gavin Went in on the 19th for surgery. We had planned for him to come home 5 days later but he had one complication after another. He ended up in the ICU over night and even intubated on a breathing tube.  He's now back on the step down unit(Thank You LORD) but we are not sure when he will be home.  We are Praying it's very soon. What seemed like a few simple surgeries for him where not. His kidney began to swell Saturday and his electrolyte have been out of range. The scariest complication was when his sodium reached a very high critical value and he was immediately transferred to ICU. His little tummy has not tolerated his new G-Tube either. They did start him on formula yesterday and he is starting to have that increased.  The team at Rady's children has been amazing! I have never met such wonderful compassionate doctors before. Their bed side manners are so different then the doctors I have worked with. We have had so many ups and downs and to be honest I have spent many moments in the halls, bathrooms and chapel of that hospital giving it all to God. Your perspective on life truly changes when you sit outside with a handful of moms talking about their chronic kidos. I knew in my heart we would have ups and downs with Gavin's health. I was not in any denial about the medical diagnosis he came home with. I am still speechless when a Physician sits down with me and tells me that my love for this child moves them to be a better person. That my compassion to rescue this orphan and save his life has given them hope. I continue to pray that our story touches people. That people realize it has nothing to do with Us. It has to do with LOVE and love has no boundaries, no rules and no instruction manuals. I will continue to update everyone by the day. I will be headed back to the hospital today to switch spots with Andy. Tomorrow Gavin will have another ultrasound of his kidney and then we will have another game plan. We are praying that his kidney will look better tomorrow. If it does not look better then we are more then likely headed back into the OR. Please continue to Pray for my Bulgarian Prince.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

A very special day

I can't explain our excitement today. The entire office at children urology heard our screams coming from the bathroom. It's much more then when your toddler uses the potty for the first time :) I wish I could put into words how Gavin felt today. He was PROUD!! My amazing Bulgarian Prince walked with his head up high today. He screamed with total excitement that he no longer had a tube hanging out of his body. Gavin has never used his bladder. He has never felt the sensation of a full bladder. Today all of that changed for him and he knew it!! He was grabbing for his urine bag all day and when it was nowhere to be found he would scream and dance with excitement. Every time he felt some sensation he would sign "bathroom" and we would run laughing and dancing all the way there. Amazing YES, all in Gods plan Absolutely !!! God had all of this planned. God already knows where Gavin's new Kidney will come from. In my prayers with him tonight all I could say was thank you!! Thank you for allowing me to be his Mom. Why was I so blessed to be called to rescue this orphan? When Andy and I boarded our first airplane to travel across the world to pick up our new son. A dear child in an orphanage we had never met. We looked at each other and said WOW are we really doing this!! I have shared our story because I want people to know that TRUST is enough. You don't have to always understand. Not everyone is going to understand the moves you make in life. As long as you are listening to your heart and The Lord you won't be steered the wrong direction.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Tomorrow is the Big Day!!

Our bags are all packed and ready. Tyler, Kaitlyn and Bradley are with Grandma Cindy and Grandpa Steve. My Mom and Steve have became our cheerleaders. Family is forever and they continue to show us each and every day their Love and Support to our growing family. Tomorrow morning we will check into Rady Children's  Hospital. As I tucked Gavin into bed tonight I wished I could explain to him what was coming. I wished I could tell my dear prince that tomorrow is life changing for him.  I knew I couldn't explain any of these things to him but all I could do was hold him and kiss my dear Prince. We have been preparing for this surgery since long before Gavin even came home. My prayers tonight are simple. I pray that Gavin's one kidney will hold steady. I pray that the reconstruction to Gavin's ureter and stent placement will be perfect. I pray that his bladder will work! His bladder is very small and has never been used. This is the first step to many amazing things for our little boy. Please pray for Gavin and the entire medical team tomorrow.


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Pictures!!!

When we were at the orphanage the staff told us they had been following our blog for months. They had been watching and waiting for us to come rescue our Prince. I know they have continued to follow Gavin's journey now that he is home.

Thank you Dear friends for caring and loving our little boy so much!


   Here is Gavin at the airport when we arrived in Utah!! Meeting his new Brothers, Sister, Grandmother and friends.
Brothers!!




Meeting Mommy and Daddy for the first time!!



                                                   First Kisses
                                  
                                 That is the smile of Freedom!


                                     My Bulgarian Prince!!
                            God sets the lonely in Families.


Brother and Sister forever!




                                                Brothers!!
                           
                                

                                         He loves his Daddy

                                            

                                         


                       I cannot imagine my life without him!




                              Grandparents that Adore him!!
   



Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Future plans for Gavin

I was blown away by the wonderful MDs at Radys children hospital yesterday. I was so pleased with all the attention to detail for Gavn. I wanted to update everyone on the plan! Yesterday we visited with endocrinologist, urology and nephrology. The visit with endocrinologist was very informative. We will be running many test to determine if Gavin has a endo problem like many believe he does. That doctor also referred us to a genetic specialist to help us better understand Gavin's diagnosis. Next was the urologist. For those that haven't been following we did all the test and procedures in Utah in order to prepare for major surgery once we got here. Yesterday we moved forward and have scheduled his first surgery on march 11. His second part of the surgery will be done 4 weeks later in April. The first surgery will be to reconstruct his right ureter and reconnect it to his bladder. He will no longer have a suprapubic catheter once this is completed. There are many risk to this surgery and I will be calling on lots of prayers that day. The major risk is that his only kidney will completely fail immediately following surgery. He will be in the hospital a few days and followed closely by the team. If this happens he will be put on dialysis and transplant list. I met with the transplant team yesterday and I'm confident in the care he will receive. The risk is very real and scary but surgery needs to happen so we Pray! There is also a chance since his bladder has never been used that it will not work. If this happens we will have to use catheters to drain his bladder. He will have another surgery after that to fix his hypospadias as long as his bladder is working correctly. Now on to nephrology. We don't know yet if he has had decline in last month. We are waiting on lab results. It is going to be hard to determine Gavin's kidney decline until we can monitor labs over the next 2 months. We don't know exactly how much time we have right now. We are praying everything will go ok with surgery and we can preserve his kidney function as long as possible.

Today I am sitting in outpatient procedures waiting for Gavin's BAER test to be done. Hopefully we will have those results to share in the coming hours. Thank you for all your continued prayers for my Bulgarian Prince!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Homeschooling and the upcoming week of events...

Lets talk homeschooling! We have decided as a family to try homeschooling our children. Bradley has been out of public school for awhile now. We have submitted all the documents for A private   homeschooling program in California. The laws are stricter in Cali then Utah. I appreciate all the guidance from all the other homeschooling mamas. If you have some wonderful words of wisdom please send them my way. If your in SoCal and belong to a homeschooling group pass that along too. I am excited to start this new journey with my children. Especially my oldest Bradley. He is eager to learn but struggling with basic concepts of reading. That is our first major goal to overcome. Kaitlyn is working on a preschool program and Gavin is learning sign language. I hope I can guide my children's hearts to love learning and to love Jesus.

This week is going to be a BIG week for Gavin. We will be seeing 4 new specialist at Radys children hospital. We are hoping to develop a plan for his urinary system. We are also seeing a endocrinologist to better understand Gavin's congenital abnormalities. Gavin also has his sedated BAER test on Wednesday. He has to be sleep deprived for the procedure and will be required to only sleep 4 hrs the night before. Please pray we can accomplish this and get the test done.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Busy Busy

Hello everyone! Sorry I have been MIA for so long. The last month has been Crazy since we got home with Gavin. We received military orders and are now in our home state California. The house is still 50% in boxes but with 4 kids and one on the way things take time! Yep if you missed that last part we have a new one on the way!! A BABY BOY!!!! We were secretly hoping to give Kaitlyn the sister she longs for but I think this is Gods way of saying remember he's in control and will ultimately determine our family size :) It's kinda comical once you have a large family how people think they have a say in your family size. I have had to bite my tongue a few times and remember family, friends and strangers generally think they have your best interest at heart. I have had a few that have been very supportive and realize we will do what's best for us :)
GAVIN  lets talk about my handsome Bulgarian Prince!!! Yes I mean that with total sincerity. Bulgarian Prince is his name and it will stay forever. I can hear his little feet up stairs right now waking up his brother and jumping on his bed. He has changed so much in the last month. Those first two weeks home where more then I ever expected. They required a ton of patience and prayer. I don't think Gavin had ever heard the word No and his behaviors were out of control. Top that with a new diagnosis of moderate to sever hearing loss and we were lost with communication. I think it's important to be "real" here and not just say all is perfect in the Thomas home. I have hundreds of readers on this blog and about 50% of those are in the process of adoption or have finished. I think its very important to be prepared for your homecoming and the unknown of medical problems that can come up. Gavin is a true blessing to our home and he is worth it!! Absolutely worth it!! We cannot imagine our lives without him. In the short weeks he has been home our children have learned patience, friendship, love, determination, special needs, disability, communication and even how to care for catheters and medical procedures. For those people that thought Gavin would take away from our children I stand by my comments that children are truly a blessing and bring lifelong lesson and LOVE to a home. Whether you have two or eight children. I have had a lot of comments regarding Gavin's medical problems since we got home. Gavin has been seen by lots of wonderful specialist. It has been difficult since we had to move after establishing a good team. His catheter has been changed and he now has leg bag system that's working great but is still temporary. Gavin requires major surgery to fix and reroute his system to work correctly. We are hoping to have this done in March once we are settled into our new home. His kidney failure progressed since his last labs in August and he is in stage 4 renal failure. He's taking medications every day and Dialysis and transplant is in his future. We are just hoping to protect as much function as he has right now.  As for his hearing we need to do one more test to see if a hearing aid or implant will help. We are praying we can get him hearing. We were not aware of Gavin's hearing problems prior to pickup. We are all working together to learn sign language and teach him.
As I said before we can't imagine our lives without him. He is a Thomas and has bounded beautifully with all members of the Thomas house. Please continue to pray for his health and for his new doctors here to determine the best routes for our very special Bulgarian Prince!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

WE ARE HOME!!!

I will post All the details very soon!! Here is the news report about our return Home. Gavin is an amazing blessing, Hand picked by God to be in our family forever!!

http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865570635/Lehi-family-brings-adopted-child-home-from-Bulgaria.html

Thursday, January 3, 2013

News report from Last night

KSL came to see all the excitement in the Thomas home last night. We are headed to the airport now. Please Pray for a safe trip and that God would prepare Gavin's heart for our arrival.

http://www.ksl.com/?sid=23598679&nid=148&title=local-family-raises-money-to-adopt-sick-child-from-bulgaria#ooid=V4ZWkxODrWGBifBH7BnYaPf3MUVlVj5r