Symanzik's Household

I write this as James squirms on my lap and Jerald sleeps....just wanted to share some pics!!!!

Ben and James



James and Jerald size difference

Kirsten and Ben and James

Kirsten and James


Jerald Update

Well, I took Jerald to the pediatrician on Monday.
After lab work and a chest x-ray was done it was discovered he has pneumonia.
Now he is on an antibiotic.
The lab work will get repeated on Saturday.
If his infection is clearing up, then we can get surgery scheduled.

Update after one week

Hi, It's been a week to remember....two wonderful blessings entered our lives last Saturday by the names of Jerald and James.

We've been granted our Foster Parent License.
After we live here three years we can adopt the boys, but in the mean time we are their foster parents. (We already have almost 14 months of that time requirement.)

James and Jerald have seen doctors. James had a bronchial infection which is getting better with the help of medicine and good nutrition. He is also gaining weight, smiles, loves to hear Ben sing to him, be rocked. Both girls are great at feeding him and playing with him.

Jerald has seen a surgeon. On Monday he will go to the pediatrician for a pre-surgery check up and then we can get the surgery scheduled for his shunt to be implanted.

He is a severe hydrocephaluc. Most of his brain on the CT is pushed against the skull - about 1.5 cm of brain shows on perimeter of skull area, the rest is fluid. We have seen the neuro surgeon who will do the shunt implant. He gives a 97% chance of success.

Hopefully within a week's time, barring any unforeseen health issues that would delay surgery, we can get a shunt put in and help Jerald's head clear off excess cerebral fluid. His head currently measure 4 inches bigger than a normal 2 month old child's head.

Please pray - pray for Jerald to go through surgery successfully, pray for the surgeon (Dr. James Soriano, M.D.), and pray for our family.

Want to know more about hydrocephalus? Go to Mayo Clinic's website:

On top of appointments with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and doctors appointments, each of us got sick this week. We are suspecting that James shared his germs with us!!! First Kurt was down for 24 hours or so, the Mikayla missed 3 days of school. Kirsten and Ben came down with it at the same time and missed 2 days of school. Then I was sick Thursday night and Friday. After sleeping most of Friday I am feeling better today. Everyone had at least a 24 hour period of sleeping most of the time. It felt like the flu.

But here, a week later, everyone is on the mend. Ben is off to a birthday party today. Our friend Beth has been taking the 8p.m. - midnight shift of holding babies so we can sleep some. The boys are starting to sleep better through the night (at least 3 - 4 hours at a stretch before waking up to eat again!)

We thank you all for your prayers and support!!!

Aunt Beth holding the babies


Mikayla and James

Kurt and James

Kirsten being silly

Aunt Beth, Ben, and James



Quite a Week

Hi, It's been quite a week.

The two boys, James and Jerald came to live with us Saturday night.

On Tuesday morning Kurt and Mikayla woke up sick. We met with the Department of Social Work and Development to begin the foster parent process (DSWD)...

Wednesday Kirsten and Ben joined the 'fun' of being sick with their Daddy and older sister....We also had a home study done by DSWD. They have thanked us many times for taking these boys, especially Jerald. If we hadn't he would've ended up in a DSWD orphanage. Filipino couples will not adopt 'handicapped' children because of the expense involved in caring for them.

We took the boys to a doctor for check ups and have a neurosurgeon
to go see hopefully today. He normally has office hours on T and W but his receptionist was going to see if he could see us today. We are waiting for a text from her.

The boys are starting to gain weight, have bright eyes, are responding to our voices, and James is starting to get baby fat.
Both boys are strong.

Today Mikayla, Kirsten and Ben feel better but I'm keeping them home from school for one more day of rest.

More pictures to come soon!!!!!

For All The Blessings Of The Year.....

For all the blessings of the year,
For all the friends we hold so dear,
For peace on earth, both far and near,
We thank Thee, Lord.

For life and health, those common things,
Which every day and hour brings,
For home, where our affection clings,
We thank Thee, Lord.

For love of Thine, which never tires,
Which all our better thought inspires,
And warms our lives with heavenly fires,
We thank Thee, Lord.

We thank God for good friends, family, and calling us out onto the mission field.