“I was in awe.” – Intermezzo Guest Blog

Parents overcome fears to welcome baby Henry, born without arms.
by Nancy Flanders, July 17, 2021 , 03:55pm

After learning that their preborn son would be born without arms, Jessika Turner and her husband doubted their abilities to parent a child with additional needs. But when baby Henry was born, life changed for the better.

2021-08-02 I Was In Awe

“We called our close family members and explained what little we knew at the time,” Turner told Love What Matters. “They had so many questions, and I was fresh out of answers. The one question I kept asking myself was ‘How in the world are we supposed to raise a child with no arms?’ At first, when I looked back on those few days after we received his diagnosis, I felt so guilty for feeling like I did. I repeated over and over, ‘How am I going to be a mom to a little boy who needs more than I can give him?’ Now, I realize I wasn’t worried about his arms, or lack thereof, at all. I was worried about our ability to care for this amazing child because I felt inadequate.”

Turner is not alone in her fears. For every child who receives a diagnosis, there are parents who wonder if they will be able to provide their child with everything he needs. When the child is still in the womb at the time of the diagnosis, doctors often suggest abortion instead of discussing how to actually help the child or the parents.

Henry’s doctors believed he had a rare genetic disorder called Thrombocytopenia Absent Radius Syndrome (TAR). According to Turner, TAR causes low blood platelets, missing arm bones, and other limb deformities. It also causes a lowered immune system and a milk protein allergy. There are two types of TAR: long arm and short arm. Those with long arm are missing the radial bone in the arm while those with short arm are missing all three arm bones. Henry has short arm TAR.

READ: ‘He’s absolutely perfect’: Mom of baby with missing limbs said choosing life was the ‘best’ decision

“Our next step was learning to adapt,” said Turner. “One of my biggest things, when we found out about Henry’s arms, was his clothes. Why does EVERYTHING have sleeves? All of the sleeveless items were summer clothes, and Henry was due in December. The feeling of being inadequate hit me like a freight train. I didn’t sleep. I didn’t eat. I screamed and cried and acted like a crazy person. I felt my soul break in half. My fellow special needs parents will know what it feels like. It’s gut-wrenching. I then realized I couldn’t stay in that dark place. I had to fight. I had to figure out how to do the best for this boy with lucky fins.”

2021-08-02 House Closing

Thankfully, Turner was able to find a support system with other families of children with TAR on Facebook. They gave Turner and her husband hope — “a life raft to hold onto.”

When Henry was born, Turner felt prepared and excited but also nervous and scared. He had a low platelet count of just 13,000 compared to the typical 150,000 to 450,000 and spent the first month after birth in the neonatal intensive care unit. He overcame a high white blood cell count, transfusions, IVS, x-rays, and five surgeries.

“The first time I got to see him with my very own eyes, I was in awe,” said Turner. “We created that! He was ours forever.”

Today, Henry is like any other toddler who loves to play with his trucks and uses a sippy cup. His parents have a mantra of, “No arms? No problem!” and his mother said she “cannot wait to see the person he grows into.”

Every child deserves to be loved the way Henry is loved, regardless of abilities or differences. No child should be discriminated against in the womb, but instead, all children should be welcomed at birth with love.

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My notes:
Every baby IS loved and would be welcomed into the world if we could just connect those who think abortion is the only route out of a difficult situation to those who want a baby.  There are so many childless couples who wait for years to provide loving homes that no baby needs to enter the world unwanted.
For a humorous spin on this, check out the Babylon Bee’s May 21, 2021 satire piece (remembering this is a joke website!): https://babylonbee.com/news/democrats-worry-of-dark-future-where-they-cant-murder-children-for-being-inconvenient.

Without Christianity – A Wordy Wordless

In his newest book, Dominion: The Making of the Western Mind, atheist Tom Holland, who is not a follower of Jesus Christ, claims the morals of the western world would not exist without Christianity.  This is a really interesting read, especially coming from a historian of such repute, yet not a Christian.

2021-07-28 Tom Holland Quote

For more interesting reading, just enter Tom Holland Atheist Historian in your search engine and find gems like this: https://www.newstatesman.com/politics/religion/2016/09/tom-holland-why-i-was-wrong-about-christianity.

Turkey Vultures -Wordless Wednesday

A friend told me these were Turkey Vultures.  I passed them near the road, in the shade of a tree trying to get cool from the heat of the day.  I stopped my car a short distance away where I could get out and get a better look at them and as I approached, apparently it was not hot enough to keep them in the shade for long!  Just had my iPhone in hand so took what I could.  One of the buzzards returned to the power pole closest to the tree to see how long “this interloper” would disturb their afternoon siesta; kind of like he’s sitting up there, thinking, “Okay, bud, how long are you going to stick around?” 😎  Fortunately he did not have this final guy’s attitude or I might have been in trouble!


Intermezzo – July 4, Independence Day and a Picnic

July 4th came up soooo suddenly!
HALF of the year is already gone as Kentucky moves into summer.
A friend always invites us to his family gatherings and they always have fantastic food.  So this time I wanted to contribute something more than just a snack platter from Meijer. 
Thus two dishes: Cheesy Green Bean Casserole and Lobster Deviled Eggs!

Cheesy (Cheezy? 😁) Green Bean Casserole
A staple of family get-togethers, I decided to make the green bean casserole something that was my own.

1 tablespoon sesame oil
1/2 tablespoon butter
48 ounces fresh green beans
1 large carrot
1/4 large onion
8 ounces of your favorite cheese (I used Monterey-Jack since we were out of gorgonzola or cheddar.)
1 can of Campbell’s Cream of Celery soup
1 can of Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom soup
1/4 cup of mayonnaise
1 container French’s Crispy Fried Onions

Directions: (really siimple)
Preheat oven to 350⁰F.
Start by rubbing the sesame oil into the 3 quart (3L) baking dish with butter.  Be sure to rub the sides of the dish.
Cut the fresh green beans, French-style.
Actually, this went pretty quickly after the first two (or you can purchase these canned).
Mince the carrot.  I just used my Cuisinart Smart Stick Grinder.
Slice and saute the onion until brown or clarified.
Grate the cheese.
Put the beans, onions and carrots into your dish.
Add the soups and mayonnaise and stir thoroughly.
Bake for 30 minutes after which add the cheese and cover the top with the fried onions.
Bake for five more minutes, and it’s done!

Lobster Deviled Eggs
I kept it simple even with the Lobster Deviled Eggs.  Anita cannot handle spices and is allergic to any kind of bell pepper, including paprika.  So I divided the eggs into two batches.

One dozen large or extra-large eggs
8-10 ounces of frozen lobster meat; ground up
1/4 cup ground dill pickles (or relish) drained
1/2 tablespoon yellow mustard
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup ground olives drained
1/2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
sprinkles of parsley flakes and paprika

Hard boil the eggs and cool. If you boil them lying flat in a large pan or frying pan, the yolk will distribute better so you will not have some with very thin edges of white.  For ease I boiled the eggs the night before so they were in the fridge the next morning.
Peel and slice the eggs in half. 
Combine half the lobster meat and dill pickles and add half the egg yolks.
Add the yellow mustard and 1/4 cup mayonnaise and mash together with a large fork.
Spoon into the whites and set aside.
Combine the other half of the lobster meat with olives and add the the other egg yolks.
Add the Dijon mustard and the other half of the mayonnaise and mash together with any left over from the first batch.
Spoon into the remaining whites.
Add parsley flakes to the pickle set and paprika to the olive set.
If you boil an extra egg or two when you boiled the eggs, you can claim “cook’s privilege” and gobble up a couple for “testing.” 😉  The leftover filling can make a nice dip for crackers or chips.

Watch the fireworks and enjoy the food.

Painted Deck – Wordless Wednesday

After last winter’s ice storm that left three inch thick ice on it, a small deck I built for some friends several years ago needed some work.  I had stained the deck, but they had someone paint it before last winter, so now it always has to be painted.

So I got out my scrapers and brushes and fixed ‘er up nicely.  The room to which it is attached was a laundry room addition that was most of the original project.

The Tuul River in January 2021

Tuul River on a Morning in January

Memories of Mongolia; a friend’s picture of the Tuul River outside Ulaanbataar on a January morning. Yes, it is solid enough to walk across.  Of course, even in summer, much of the river is only a meter (3 feet) or less deep in many places, three meters (9 feet) at its deepest.  Here is about one-half meter (1.5 feet) deep.