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!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

March 27, 2009

One year ago today, we met our son. It doesn't feel like it was that long ago already! He's grown 3 inches, gained 3 pounds and two shoe sizes. He's been to more doctors in the last year than I'm sure he'd seen his entire life before. And he's got lots of friends. He's a confident, sweet boy with lots of compassion. And he's a quick learner. He knows his ABC's, and can count to 10. He can walk and run, almost hop, though we're going to start working more on that with the trampoline my aunt bought in another week or so (when the 30 days are up from the time he got circumcised) and I'm sure he's going to LOVE it. He is really good with his hand-eye coordination, although his reflex time is a little lagging.

I don't think I've posted this before, but this was the picture we saw at the SDA appointment on March 25, 2009. This is the picture I was drawn to for some reason. He almost looks like he had red hair at one time!

Here are some thoughts I had of our first encounter:
"We got to the orphanage around 11:30am, and got to hang with this little fella for about 20 mins before he had to go to lunch. My first impression wasn’t bad, but wasn’t good either. I didn’t really feel a connection with him at first. He was exhibiting good signs, like not wanting us to pick him up, and running back to his classroom. He has a healthy connection to his caregiver. But he didn’t want much to do with the cute stuffed dog we brought for him to play with. The orphanage appears to be well kept, and well run. The workers we ran in to seem to genuinely care about these children, which makes a big difference. She showed us how smart he is by asking him to pick the biggest of the objects on the table, and put the red circle in the right spot on the puzzle. I compared him to my friend Lindsay’s 2 year old, and he seems to be just a little past that. He’s smart, focused and obedient.After our meeting, we talked with the doctors about his diagnoses, which aren’t as bad as I initially thought. His feet will require some orthopedic care, but not surgery. And his heart condition is something that’s diagnosed in many orphanage children. The doctors seemed very up front about everything and answered our questions patiently.
We went to our visit at 4pm and this boy was a different child. He was engaging and fun, and I even got a few chuckles out of him! He is so much like Dave, it isn’t funny. He thought it was a hoot that Dave would give him jumbo legos, which he stacked right away. He was determined to stack each one, and wouldn’t stop until he reached his goal. He also loves his cars, and even showed us how he pushes himself about on a 3 wheeler. He’s on the track to being potty trained. He and I played with a roller for quite some time. I would take the roller apart, and GASP, give them to the boy, who would gasp back, smile and very absorbedly put it back together (there were only two pieces).After seeing his personality shine through a bit, we looked at each other and just laughed. I’m not sure a biological child would fit in much better. We told Igor that we didn’t need a doctor’s opinion, this is our son. Igor thought we were joking at first. He advised us to sleep on the decision; we’ll visit our boy again tomorrow and then go to the notary if we still want to proceed."

A side by side comparison...same child? Yep. That's how much he's changed in a year!

Monday, March 15, 2010

The world according to Toddlers

Celeste: Yes, our insurance did cover it. It really depends on how the doctor approaches it. Eli had some other minor thing that they commented on (don't really understand it), but most doctors know what to look for to allow this to get covered.

And Eli's walking is great. He still doesn't walk "normal", but he's really doing great. His thighs are really getting strong!

Eli's recovery is going great. It's so hard to keep him from going too crazy! But his wound is healling and he doesn't have any pain.

The greatest news is that Eli had his speech assessment. His vocabulary is pretty normal for an ESL child...the therapist was really impressed! But his comprehension is a little low still. I kind of think he was overwhelmed by the newness so he wasn't really paying attention. But, either way, he qualified for speech through the school system. Utica has a great rep, and the speech, ot, and pt programs are top notch. The speech therapist told us that the fastest route is to go to a preschool program designed specifically for children with physical disabilities (for safety reasons) through the school district, and then go to a regular classroom maybe next year. The only problem is that the preschool is 5 days a week in the morning and I'm not sure he's ready for that yet. However, I've been assured that they are able to work around what's best for him.

Other than that life is good, the weather is perfect, and we've all been getting lots of Vit D!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Chop Chop!

We got the pictures from the dedication and they turned out alright.

Yesterday was the day I've been dreading...Eli's circumcision. He couldn't eat after midnight, so I expected him to be a monster. But he was GREAT! He kept asking for food, which I wouldn't give him. He knew I couldn't give him any food, but he was just soooo hungry. We got to the hospital at 9:30ish, they took his medical info and got him a room right away. We dressed him in the smallest suit they had, which was still huge on him, and waited while reading and playing. Eli was pretty nervous. They asked how he would do without me and I said you'll need ear plugs. So they gave him something to calm him down before they gave him the initial anesthesia. That, to me, was the hardest part. As they rolled him out of the room, even drugged up with some sort of valuum, he still wanted his momma :( I, who never tear up much less cry, had to get a few tissues out. After I calmed down I started reading a book, and the time flew by. Before I knew it, Eli was out of surgery and the doctor was giving me the directions for home care.
I was anxious to see Eli, but I had to wait until he opened his eyes. I guess as soon as he opened his eyes and figured out what was going on, he started screaming for me, so they got me right away. I craddled him and sang to him to settle him down. He was still pretty drugged up, but was able to drink some juice. Dave came about that time with lunch for me, but I wasn't able to eat it until we got home. Eli did great in the car and barely fussed yesterday. He even pee peed in the potty! He doesn't like the tylenol. He gagged on it last night and it made him throw up.
I was nervous about last night, but Eli slept all the way through and was ready to run a marathon this morning. I cleaned him for the first time and he was a trooper. I figured out that he'll take the medicine if I mix it in honey and give it to him on a spoon. Go figure!
Today is going to be another movie marathon, although Bob the Builder may mysteriously disappear. Along with Wendy and his little machine helpers....