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!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Day of Firsts

We had a day of firsts today!  Today Amelia went to church for the first time.  Our intent was to have her look around, check out her Sunday school class, and maybe have her either sit with us in church or have one of us sit with her in Sunday school based on her reaction.  Well, she did great!  She decided she really wanted to stay in Sunday school and then one of the leaders of the class told us she would probably be fine if we wanted to leave. This is someone I really trust so we decided to see her reaction to us leaving.  She was very uncertain at first.  Eli is in the same class, so I think his reaction of "Bye!  See you later!" reassured her and it was reported to us that she did great!  She was attentive, participated in everything, and even made friends.  Love it!

Then, later in the day, Eli fell asleep on my lap for the first time ever (that I can remember).  He's been trying to keep up with the never ending energy of Amelia, and I think it all caught up with him.  He came in from playing outside and crawled on my lap with a headache.  We watched some TV and I gently rocked his head back and forth (he did this when he first came home) and BOOM, he was out.  He slept for an hour, and then I had to wake him up to get supper ready.  And now both kids are passed out cold.

We had a great weekend :)

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Continued Thoughts

Thanks for your comments :)  Just to clarify a little, I wouldn't hesitate putting Amelia in Kindergarten this year.  BUT we don't really know about placing both Amelia and Eli in the same grade.  Any thoughts about that?

I could place Amelia in Kindergarten with Eli, then next year move up Amelia to 1st grade and Eli to a kinder plus program, but I think Eli would get bored really fast.  He's a really smart kid.  Then again, I know a lot of smart kids who enter the kinder plus program because of maturity issues, not intelligence.  Sigh.  Such tough decisions!

I also appreciate the comments about being cautious about having a Russian speaking tutor.  I got the same advice from the tutor we contacted.  She suggested having her enroll in the phonics program they have.  It's a once a week program with 3 other children.  They have 3 homework assignments each week, which would help me work with her at home (I'm completely lost in all this stuff!).  The lady who owns the company is Russian and her two kids had to learn English at 8 and 12.  They learned through immersion, which she said is the fastest way for kids to learn.

In other news, things are going alright.  I'm really having a tough time with her...girls are SO different from boys.  The whining is going to be dealt with starting today.  I've had enough of the whine and point to get what she wants (this doesn't work with me at all, but now there are going to be consequences with whining.  And she's given me a couple reasons not to trust her, so I have to follow her around the house making sure she's not getting in to trouble (ie destroying things, playing in the sink, pushing buttons, sticking things in her mouth).

She's a very curious girl who likes to take things apart (like beaded necklaces) and push buttons (like her CD player).  But her attention span isn't very long just yet.  She still won't sit through more than about 20mins of a cartoon, unless it has music.  And she doesn't like being read to yet (which is a bummer because I love reading to them!).

She sticks everything in her mouth...we found out after her dentist appointment (which she did great!) she has no cavities, but 4 of her teeth are wiggly and her 6 year molars are probably coming in.  That makes sense.  Now let's hope her teeth fall out when Dave's home.  That's one thing I don't want to deal with!!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Opinion

For those of you who have adopted school aged children (or teachers who have experience with this), did you place them in the grade they would technically be in?  Or did you place them in the grade below?  Eli is going in to kindergarten this year, so we'd like to put Amelia in 1st grade and see how she does.  We think she may do fine, but we're not sure.  We figure if it's too advanced for her and she's getting discouraged we can always place her in kindergarten during the year.  The school is going to give her ESL services as well as take her out of the class for extra help.  And we're also going to hire a tutor for her (who speaks Russian, YESSS!!) and work closely with her during the week.  Thoughts? Recommendations?  What about home school for 6 months?  Where would I even get started in that?!

Monday, July 25, 2011

A break from the ME to the HIM

I thought I'd post this because it's about a child who needs help now.  I don't know the specifics, but please pray for this family and Misha, who needs medical attention as soon as possible.  My heart breaks for this orhpan :(

My Garden Hat

The Week Home

I know I owe all of you lots of pictures and information.  So I'll start with where I left off.

We had our court on June 29th, hopped on a train, went to the embassy June 30th, and headed to the airport.  We left on an airplane June 30th, getting home at 10:30am July 1st.  And, oh, what a trip it was.  Dave was detoxing from lack of medicines so he was NOT having fun.

But we made it safe and sound.  Dave got his meds, worked on the yard for three hours while I started laundry and vegged, and we slept.  It was so nice to be back in our home!

Saturday, July 2nd we headed to Buffalo to see our son.  I was up and going at 4am, but I was good and let Dave sleep for another hour or so.  We got to Buffalo and saw our boy.  Not exactly the reunion we were thinking we'd get, but it was great to see and snuggle with my boy after so long!  He just looked at us like he had just gotten up, kind of in a daze still.  And he wasn't very receptive to our hugs at first.  But we were persistent and he eventually became lovey with us again.  We left July 3rd to return home.  We expected the borders to be crazy, but they weren't.  It was a Canadian holiday and the 4th weekend.

Our week together was pretty low key.  I was DREADING the return to Ukraine.  The trip, the flight home, etc.  Eli and I played and loved on each other and snuggled lots and lots.  And it was around the beginning of the week that I realized I only had a week home :(  I was so sad to leave my little munchkin again.  I left July 10th.

My mom met me at the airport July 11th and the second part of our adventure began!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A completed family of 4

We're home!!!  More details to follow, but I couldn't resist sharing these photos.  I could be wrong, but I think Eli and Amelia are glad to have one another :)