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Fausto And Wilda Update – 12/20/17

We had the honor of meeting with Fausto and Wilda today to deliver a holiday card and a check. The family was in good spirits and the good news was reported of Fausto’s health as his pancreas no longer requires a bag. I had the opportunity to speak a bit of Spanish, but I was thankful that their caseworker Danielle with Mission Southside of Olathe http://www.missionsouthside.org/ was present as she speaks Spanish fluently and was a great help translating for us. We thanked them for being a huge inspiration to us as we grow our fitness challenge community of Holiday Streakers. We also reminded them we continue to hold them in our thoughts and prayers. They were grateful to receive our prayers, support and check from funds raised. They also showed us a card they had received already. Fausto and Wilda and their girls have a lovely home full of Christmas cheer. We wish them and all our families a safe and happy holiday season.

Joey Condon Update – 12/05/17

First, let me say a tremendous thank you to all of those who are streaking and keeping our family in your thoughts and prayers. Scrolling through the Facebook page and seeing the dedication of so many people has us feeling incredibly humbled and joyful all at the same time!
Yesterday marks the arrival of December, and with it – a month of some big appointments for Joey. During his last MRI in mid-October, we were disappointed to find his tumor was growing at an unexpected rate. We head back to Memphis for another round of tests, including another MRI to see what has happened with his tumor in the last 2 months. Following testing, we have a consultation with Joey’s incredible neurosurgeon to determine if another surgery is required and/or if other treatment is in Joey’s near future.
This is a tough time of year to be facing these appointments, the palpable “scanxiety” before the next MRI, and still keep the holiday spirit alive for Joey and our other children. It’s easy to be overwhelmed with fear of the “what ifs”. Your specific prayers are requested and appreciated to help us this month. Please pray for uncomplicated appointments for Joey, peace and strength for him (and us as his parents) as he undergoes painful procedures, and as positive of test results as possible.
On the bright side of things – Joey is doing really well on a day to day basis. He is enjoying school and time with family and friends. He brings laughter and love to our family each day. He is excited for Christmas and Is hoping to be back from Memphis with plenty of time to celebrate! Thank you for being with us during Joey’s Journey.
-Martha Condon

Traci Shultice Update – 12/01/17

The spirit of the holiday season has energized me and I have been on a streak. Before my cancer diagnosis, I rarely exercised. The most I did was walk to the sale rack at the department store looking for the trendiest clothes. So for someone who never exercised, I am on a streak!!

I have managed to take a brisk two-mile walk each day since Thanksgiving. I am confident my stamina will increase as the days go by. (I did manage to power shop for 12 hours on Black Friday with my mom and my girls). Shopping always motivates me.

Every year, during the first weekend of December, my family heads down to the Plaza in Kansas City for some holiday shopping and making memories together. My girls and their husbands/boyfriends, my son and his girlfriend, and Don and I will cram ourselves into two suites at the Embassy. I am ready for some good times and some good adult conversations.

My kindergarten classroom conversation went something like this today… We were talking about the value of a nickel. I stated that the value of a nickel is 5 cents. “Oh, oh, oh,” shouted a boy, “I’m five!” Then the next student said, “My dog had five puppies one time”. The next student said, “I don’t get no dogs, just a cat.” The next student said, my grandma, has two cats. Needless to say, we were off topic, again! Gotta love those Kindergarteners!

I hope this these next few days find you motivated and rejoicing in the spirit of the holiday season while spending time with your families! Once again, thank you for letting me be a part of the Holiday Streaker Nation!

Traci Shultice

Update on Charlotte Toburen (from Stacia) – 12/01/17

We’re doing good! It’s been 2 months since Charlotte’s second surgery and we’ve fallen into yet another new norm. We still have many challenges, but every day we choose joy and trust God with where He’s leading us.

On November 11 Charlotte turned 2! She’s obsessed with Wheels on the Bus so we rented a bus and, after taking a ride, we had cake and ice cream. Although she turned 2, it was her first birthday celebration so it was very special. (I’ve attached pictures below, also one before and after surgeries. 🙂 )

We meet with the surgical team January 2nd and will discuss her next surgery on her cleft palate. That surgery will take place in February. After that surgery, she’ll start having speech and occupational therapy weekly for a few years. Right now she knows about 40 signs but after palate surgery, she needs to learn how to talk!

Below is a post I wrote last week for National Adoption Month (November). It really paints a picture of what our life is like right now.

Thank you for the continued prayers and we too are praying for the other families. Such strength in their stories!

In light of National Adoption Month, I felt the need to say a few things. Maybe it’s because today, like every day, Charlotte sees the teeter-totter in the playroom and is so terrified she can’t enter the room. Or when you use the windshield wipers she sobs uncontrollably. Or, the newest fear at dinner tonight, she saw her shadow on the floor and grabbed my arm as strong as a man with such fear in her eyes. Add to that the vacuum, trains, and broom.

I say all this because adoption is so hard yet so wonderful! People think you either adapt or you don’t, or you foster or you don’t, but there is so much in between! Not everyone is called to adopt or foster, but there is so much more you can do! Donate towards a family who is fundraising towards bringing a child home. Mentor a foster child. Donate supplies. Make a meal. Donate a duffel bag so a foster child can carry all their belongings in something other than a trash bag. The list goes on and on.

It’s been 7 months since we brought Charlotte home. I read back through some earlier posts and it’s shocking how far she’s come. She now looks in our eyes and smiles. She still won’t snuggle but she always wants to hold hands. She still wants food all the time but she is ok waiting for it because she trusts now that we will feed her (she hears the oven timer and squeals in delight!). She loves to dance and “shake her sassy hips”. And her favorite place to be is home.

I can’t even imagine life without Charlotte. Every day is wonderful and hard and just when you think you’ve figured it all out you pull the broom out to sweep and you have to stop everything to comfort and love this child that has fears we’ll never understand.

We are called “to look after orphans and widows in their distress” (James 1:27). There are so many ways to do this. Please think of what you can do to help the 140 million orphans and 428,000 children in foster care.

-Stacia

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