About Me

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My husband and I, the Dynamic Duo, have been married since 2003. We've weathered the storm of chronic disease (diagnosis 2006), infertility (diagnosis 2007), turning 30 (2006/2007 respectively) a first adoption (2009) of a tender hearted, compassionate Ukrainian BIG boy (born 2006), who has told us he'd like a baby sister, baby brother, big brother, and REALLY big sister. We recently completed our second Ukrainian adoption journey, which brought us a daughter (born 2005). We'll see what else God brings our way!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Sleep...what's that?

I have knots in my stomach filled with pins, needles, surgical knives, etc. Sweat is pouring down my neck and I'm having a hard time not bursting the dam of water being held by some powerful tear ducts. My heart and my mind are racing. Tomorrow he's going to reject me, hate me and never let me love on him again. If I take him to the pediatrician, she's going to say "What were you thinking? Have you gone mad? You've scarred him for life and he'll never be able to function normally!" She recommends I see a therapist, who utters that same thing. Then my mind settles a bit as I realize my ears aren't ringing with that piercing noise anymore.

All because I let him cry himself back to sleep instead of jumping up at his first wimper. Sigh. That was my 4am-4:15am. Eli woke up and started calling for me. It broke my heart to hear him say "Momma. Momma, come. MOMMAAAAAAAAA!" I decided to remind him that I was still here, so I went in to the room, gave him a kiss, rubbed his back, told him I loved him and Good night and walked out again. I stood by the door for a few minutes before gently walking back to the couch.

This morning we had cuddle time while Papa got ready for work. It lasts almost 30 mins. He just looks at me with those sweet eyes and smiles while saying "Momma" over and over again. I even got the sweetest and tightest hugs from him. Amazing :)

His nap today was a bit of the same thing. He only cried for a few minutes, got out of bed once, and he was out for almost an hour. I made him sleep more when he woke up because he isn't feeling well. He's complained that his stomach hurts for the past two days now. I think it's the adjustment to the new foods he's been eating. His poor tummy isn't used to fresh fruits, veggies, or milk products.

We went to the mall today and played in the play area with lots of other kids, some older, who were quite rambuncious. But he did great, only falling hard once, getting back up and playing instantly. He also made sure he could see me, or at least knew I was there, throughout the 45mins. And that is a great sign :)

I've posted a few videos that capture his charming personality. He has this way of imitating you in the cutest way, and then smiling his sweet smile when he gets caught. He's all boy, that's for sure!!

Eli will come up to me with this very serious almost worried look on his face. I've come to recognize this look, since I get it often. I'll ask him if he has a poopka...this is his response.

We weren't sure what Eli would do with fries and katsup. But he wanted to try it since we were eating it. This moment was captured especially for my sister in law, Wendy.

Sunday, May 24, 2009


Eli and I are exhausted today because I'm transitioning Eli to sleep in his room alone. I started this on Friday. I was all prepared to brag about how easy he is because he slept through the night on Friday night. He only got up once and went back to bed fast. Not so last night. He was up every two hours last night calling out to me. I only went in the room if he started to scream. I knew if he got too scared he'd come out to me. And he did several times. I put him back in his room and sat in the rocking chair until he fell asleep again. Maybe it's too early, but I know I can't go back now. At least I don't think so. Maybe I can. Wait, what day is it today? I'm hanging on by a thread right now...hopefully Eli goes to bed fast tonight.

Here are are some fun things from this week. You can really see Eli's personality shining through more and more.
Chillin' with the Elton John sunglasses again.
He loves granola bars, but has a hard time chewing them...what a great look!
He was playing in a pile of mud and was crazy dirty!
My favorite tax deduction :)

Monday, May 18, 2009

I'm a Mom

OK, so I'm totally a dork for posting this song, but it's too funny!! Before you watch this, put your seat belts on...it goes by fast!

Friday, May 15, 2009


I've been in awe of this little guy since he's been home. When I put him to sleep, I like to caress his face, back and stomach, which seems to sooth him (when he lets me!). I'm amazed at how small he is, how my hand covers half his face, and can span the length of his stomach. When I'm in these moments I think about where he was in his life compared to where I was in mine.

He was conceived some time in 2005, the year we started trying for children. Perhaps he was even conceived in May, the month we started trying.

He was born in March 2006, around the time when Dave started going to doctors offices for a diagnoses.

He was placed in the hosptical in Dec 07/Jan 08 when we officially started the adoption process.

He was put in the orphanage in the loving hands of two caregivers, who I owe my son's life to, in Feb/Mar of 2008, when we started our home study. I also went to visit Lorena in Ecuador in March. I spent a lot of time thinking about why God was doing this to me, while studying the best way to care for my child(ren).

He was placed for adoption at the beginning of March 2009, and we found him on March 25th.

Now, I don't know about you, but if that isn't a God thing, I don't know what is.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Mother's Day

My first Mother's Day was pretty low key. Dave bought me a rocking chair for Eli's room. Now I can rock with him when I read to him at night. I really wanted to go to church (by myself), but Eli was up quite a bit Sat night, so I took a nap instead. Dave played with Eli and really wore him out!

Yesterday Eli was so tired, he passed out as soon as I put him down at 8:30pm and slept almost through the night (only up once!) until 6:45am. Ah, I feel much more rested today! And that's a good thing since Eli had to get some bloodwork done. Just typical stuff you check for after an adoption: rickets, HIV, parasites. You know, stuff like that. I get to collect his poop for the next 3 days in to different containers. Fun wow.
I took Eli out to eat with some friends for lunch. He was so cute. It was a great time for Momma to get some adult conversations in, and for Eli to eat some yummy lunch. He was so good! Of course he was pretty tired from the mornings events, but he wasn't cranky or anything.
Comments from my husband "Apparently he ate two mouthfuls of dirt yesterday, and didn’t dislike it. He also said, “car” for the first time! He points to the race car in the garage when we walk by it and says, “mala-mala”, which means broken in Russian."

Here are some fun pics :)
Miss Shannon and Mr. Tim bought Eli this great beach chair and some sweet shades. He loves it...it's easy for him to get in and out of.

Check out the sweet shades. The lenses are in his tea set...some food he pretends to scoop out of a glass. And the car is his current favorite. Our neighbors gave us that car. Eli doesn't go too far without it :)

Friday, May 8, 2009

Week One - Update

Well, today marks almost a week since we've been home. I've already sent in the info to get Eli registered with the Ukrainian embassy, and am looking in to the forms for his new birth certificate and SS#. We've added him to our insurance and been to two doctors. I have a third apptmt with a pediatrician on Monday to start the process of evaluating his health conditions. We've met lots of new friends, been lots of new places, and experiences lots of new tastes, smells and touches. What a week it's been!

So far, Eli is doing great. We still have yet to figure out his routine, although I have him in a great routine for now. I ended up putting him down for his nap early today because he was so cranky! He almost slept through the night last night, which was nice for me. I'm sleeping on a matress on the floor next to his bed because he gets a little frightened when I'm not around. I think within a few weeks he should be able to sleep by himself, but I'll let him tell me when he's ready.

Food is fun. He loves to feed himself, although he makes a huge mess and immediately wants me to clean it up. It's really funny. Breakfast is a bannana, bowl of cheerios. Snack is either pretzels, a piece of fruit or animal crackers. Lunch is some sort of soup (to get more liquids in him). Another snack of pretzels, fruit or animal crackers. Dinner is a Gerber babies dinner of some sort, and whatever else he wants until he says he's had enough. And right before bed I give him a yogurt. Big appetite, I'm happy to say.

He loves apple skin, bannanas, mashed potatoes, soups, chicken in various forms, ham, apple juice, orange juice, cashews, strawberries and cheerios.

He hasn't quite found a cheese he likes, and he really doesn't like carrots or blueberries or any of the bread we've tried. I only count out foods when he's tried it twice at different times and he doesn't like it.

He loves cars (really anything that rolls), his train set, his cell phone, puzzles and is slowly getting in to books. We "read" to him before bed.

He's quite a snuggle bug when he wakes up from his nap. We sit on the couch and he flops on my lap (I have to remember not to have my cell phone in my pocket!), then sits next to me, plays for a moment or so, then comes back to give me a hug. It's really a great time with him. He's really a very affectionate and loving child.

When Papa gets home, he tumbles freely in our back yard. He rolls around in the grass, digs in our garden, and helps Papa with little chores, like putting mulch in bags. He came in covered from head to toe in dirt yesterday...it was great! He loves tossing the ball around and dunking it in the hoop our neighbors got for him.

His greatest loves are car rides with his toddler music blaring, and being outside with Papa.

He's learned three words so far: Hello, Hi, and Ball. He understands most of the time and is learning fast!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

May 3, 2009

I thought I'd set your minds at ease...Eli's foot is doing great. We got off the plane on Sat and headed straight for the Urgent Care near my house. She said it definitely needs follow up, but it isn't ER bad, so I'm going to my family doctor on Monday. The dr prescribed some antibiotic and OK'd him to take baths, which he loves. That's going to be part of our night time routine. Bath at 8pm, bed at 9pm. Sounds good, doesn't it?

Eli went to bed last night at 7pm and I followed shortly after. We slept until 4:30am, when Eli decided he'd had enough. He kept going until 10:30am, but he just couldn't go on any more. We were eating lunch (yes...lunch at 10am. What has my life come to!?) and he started to nod off while eating pretzels. It was too funny! He loves his papa, although he keeps calling him dada, which means grandpa. So we're correcting him, and he's getting it. He imitates Dave quite often...it's so cute and sweet.

I thought I'd post some videos of Eli's cuteness for all to see (now that I'm home). Enjoy our sweet boy.

This was one of our first encounters with Eli. We introduced him to juice and a sippee cup. He didn't quite get the sippee cup idea, so we ended up taking off the lid. He watched closely because after this encounter, he takes the lid off himself. He's a quick study!

This video shows his determination, strength and love of rocks. We've got quite a strong willed, but sweet child on our hands.

Baba (Grandma Stobie) introduced Eli to a tape player. He loves pushing the buttons as much as listening to the music! Do you dig the hat?

Friday, May 1, 2009

May 1st

Well, the day to leave has finally arrived.  A lot has happened in the last week.  We sprung Eli last Friday and left that night on the train back to Kiev.  Eli screamed his head off for an hour, then calmed down, thanks to my mom who is amazing with him.  Poor guy was so tired, he caused all sorts of problems the first day I was back.  But my "child whisperer" mom found out how to calm him and play with him.  We had one heck of a time getting him to sleep, but we've found that if we pat the bed or pillow, he flings himself down on it and cries a bit before calming down and passing out.  He's had all sorts of food with no repercusions (as of yet).  

Wed night we went to a missionaries house for dinner.  Our church supports them, and I met them once while they were in town last summer.  Dinner was excellent, company even better, but Eli was acting kind of funny.  Long story short, he has a blister that has become very infected and had a fever.  He wasn't eating or sleeping.  We took him to the hospital Thurs morning, where the drs lanced off the infected part of the blister and cleaned it out really good.  He also got a penicillan shot in the butt (not a lot of fun to hold him down for that!).  This morning we took him back to get another shot, and to have his bandage replaced.  They gave us some extra stuff to change the bandage while we're in Amsterdam and told us to take him to the dr as soon as we get back in the states.  What a terrifying ordeal!  I'm freaking out inside, but trying to remain calm on the outside for my mom and Eli's sake.  I think that's why I'm so exhausted.  Please pray that all goes well and that Eli stays healthy until we get back.  Sigh.  Just another adventure in our adoption story :)