Friday, August 3, 2012


There are days of celebration, and then there are


Today is one, my friends!!!!

This morning we got an UPDATE on our Toby!!

Now let me explain a few things so you can REALLY celebrate with us...

Toby has something called Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita or "AMC." This means that his joints and muscles have been contracted and frozen before his birth. He is unable to bend his elbows (they are fixed straight) and his wrists are severely bent backwards and is unable to use his hands in the proper way. This is a permanent condition that does not progress. It was present at birth but CAN be helped with multiple surgeries.

What we DID NOT KNOW was whether Toby's other joints were involved. You see, if his hips, knees, ankles were affected...this would mean he could not walk. At least he would not be able to walk until multiple surgeries were performed over a long stretch of time. I have been told to anticipate upwards of 20 surgeries if all 4 limbs are affected. In every picture, we could see one of his knees bend, but the other remained perfectly straight.

We have been planning and operating as if Toby will not walk.


Specialty van.

Ramps around our home.

Needing to carry him up and down stairs... get the picture.

When we were praying about adopting Toby, it was clear to us that HE WAS OUR SON. After that, it didn't matter what the extent of his issues were. He was ours and we were going to embark on this journey of special needs, come what may.

But we truly didn't know how BIG this might be for us. (and really, we still don't!)

A friend of mine has also adopted a son from China with AMC. All four of his limbs are affected. She says that parenting him is very labor intensive as she must do so much for him: feed, dress, potty, carry, etc. We heard what she said, and since God made it clear that Toby was ours...we knew Toby was worth it.

We moved forward.

After we were given Pre-Approval (PA) from China to be his family, we were able to request an update. We submitted 10 questions that were translated into Chinese and we waited.

And waited.

And waited some more.

And today...we heard back!

There were 3 glorious pictures of him!!!


TOBY CAN WALK!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Both of his knees bend and in response to our question, "Can he walk, is he learning to walk?" The response was translated:

He walks freely.

Suddenly all the wheelchairs, ramps, specialty van and surgeries melted away.

He walks freely!!!!

I rejoice!

I feel like what a mother of a cripple back in the days of Jesus must have felt like! WOW!!!!!

There were some other amazing descriptions of our little man much fun!

"He is bright, he interacts well with other children and adults, he gets along very well with them."

"He laughs easily."

"He loves to be held and cuddled."

"He has a sweet temper, occasionally he is bossy, he does not cry a lot."(...and Lord knows he is gonna need to hold his own with a DQ around here...!!!)

In response to some specific questions about how he uses his hands:
"He waves his hands and says goodbye, he will use his hands when he wants to catch something. Although he cannot play with toys freely, he can catch up his toys."

And in response to my asking if he can sit up on his own (he could not at 18 months):
"Because of his toes missing, he will be a little afraid of sitting up, but he can sit up slowly by himself."

My little conqueror is already mastering the sit-up!! AND DID I MENTION THAT HE IS WALKING!?!??!?!? Hahahahhahahaha!!! BURSTING WITH JOY!!!

And of course, some NEW PICTURES!!! Just in time for our birthday!

Feast your eyes on our little man:

Oh! I'm giggling like crazy! Do you see that sweet smile? Do you see that sideways glance? He's getting READY for some SIBLINGS!!! OH YEAH!!!! :) :) :)


  1. SO happy for you!!!!! Sweet boy!!!

  2. Go Toby Go!!!!!!! Such wonderful news. And my is he a sweet one. Personality PLUS.

  3. hmmm, let's see: he's bright, interacts well with others, has a sweet temper, is occasionally bossy, loves to be held and cuddled, and LAUGHS EASILY!!! he was OBVIOUSLY born to be a Shaw!!! :-)

  4. He is clearly ready to be home - so great to see these new pictures. He just sparkles.

  5. That is so exciting!! I rejoice with your family!!

  6. So happy for your family! We are waiting for updates and praying for some new photos of our son too. Such an exciting update for you!

  7. Oh, your sweet little Toby is beautiful! He is truly gorgeous! So thrilled for you all!

  8. LOVE that sweet boy!! Have you seen this:?

    And google "Magic Arms Arthrogryposis" How incredible if this could give Toby use of his arms!
    So excited for you guys!

  9. Praise God for HIS miracles!! Goooo GOD!!!!!


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