Thursday, November 19, 2009

Big Thanks!!!

Thank you, thank you!!!  My wonderful cousin, her husband and her friend helped us to move furniture for the yardsale as Warren still can't help out since the appendix removal & surgery stuff.  They even helped in the rain.  What dedication!  Dedication is exactly what will get these children home.  We have more folks helping out the next few days bringing stuff for the sale, baking goodies, etc.  It certainly helps knowing so many people care about our kids to be doing this for us.  Tonight, we're making posters, baking until probably midnight & getting more items for the sale around the house.  Yikes!!  Lots to do & I'm on here.  LOL.  I will make a post maybe later tonight about Alex's transformation.  Don't know.  May start it & finish it tomorrow.  Also, over the weekend, we should have names for the children instead of calling them the twins and little bit.  I'm sure they'd love to have an identity.  We have ideas for the names but if you'd like to throw some our way, we'd be glad to consider some ideas.  Usually, we leave the kids' names as is or change slightly.  However, w/ this bunch & their given names, it is just not possible (or even nice for that matter) to keep their names.  They will thank us later just as Max has.  Max's birth name was Murat Kuandikov Yusopovich.  He'll take Maxwell Ian any day.  So, we need to change all 3 of these kids' names as well.  All our kids are having fun trying to help come up w/ names.  Wow, have they come up w/ some doozies!  Got to go.  Homework help needed.  Writing Alex's transformation next.  Names forthcoming this weekend as well as a yardsale and paperwork.  Enjoy your week. 

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Another transformation...Bojan

Onto our next transformation from orphanage child to family.  We had just returned from Russia w/ Yana & Alex.  Before I had left, I caught a picture of a little boy in EE.  Just caught my eye for whatever reason but knew we were travelling for two children, how dare I think of another so soon!  Yet, got home and still could not shake that feeling that I should at least call about him.  In adoption, it is a rarity that you would get approved for another child so soon after returning w/ your two new ones who had some major emotional issues.  But, we did and the rest is history as we say. 

Bojan's orphanage in Serbia was quite different as they weren't malnoursished.  They did get food, they did have toys, they were out of their cribs.  However, they were still just as affected as our other children for that emotional attachment.  He had no family bond.  Everyone was a potential parent and that's how he acted to everyone.  Bojan was missing his right leg, had a clubfoot on the left and some finger deformities.  Those were MINOR problems compared to the emotional baby we had gotten.  He lived in a home w/ babies and his reactions were as such.  We were stunned that this just turned 6yo crawled around on the floor like a little monkey, couldn't feed himself, didn't dress himself and didn't even take care of restroom duties himself.  Warren turned to me and said "are you sure we can handle this."  Something about Bojan's smile though did me in.  I knew this kid had SO much potential. We proceeded with the adoption.  What many who don't adopt don't realize, you do have the opportunity to refuse your referral and not accept the child.  Some adoptive parents realize the child may have more needs than they first realized.  Some may change their minds and realize they are not ready to be parents.  Some have situations come up at home such as a medical emergency.  Any number of reasons that an adoption may not happen while meeting the child.  We met Bojan and came home with him.  For these transformation segments, I'm not really going to speak about the journey as I will publish their actual adoption journeys in later posts.  I want to solely speak of their actual changes that took place because of adoption and having a family.  Their are subtle AND dramatic changes.  Back to Bojan.

Bojan came home and w/in four days was feeding himself, going the bathroom himself, becoming more aware of how things functioned inthe home and really began to settle in.  After just 4 short days!  This was a kid that was totally out of control at the orphanage.  Wild beyond ADHD.  I look back and understand why now.  If you are surrounded by babies day in and day out and rarely ever get to go outside, you just have bottled up energy as this little six year old boy did.  What happened next was even more astonishing.  Our other son Alex has some severe behavioral/ emotional issues due to a pretty severe traumatic past.  Alex is dx'd with FAS/ RAD/ devel. delays/ PTSD and a few other things.  Everyone thought we were crazy for adding Bojan to our family when Alex was so affected.  Bojan helped to heal Alex in a way I couldn't imagine!  They were only a year apart so very close from that point forward.  They really connected and Bojan helped Alex grow emotionally without even knowing it.  It was amazing to watch.  I can honestly say without Bojan coming home, I'm not sure how Alex would have gone on.  All psychiatrists were saying to disrupt Alex.  Yet, Bojan came home andthe family dynamic changed.  Alex changed and it was good for eveyrone.  Bojan had very dramatic changes while home. Think of it, his country does not smile upone anyone with a disability.  They don't believe they can do much and consider them retarded in all aspects.  Bojan was lucky as he was supposed to be sent to one of those institutions.  They(the orphanage he was at) thought he really could do more if he had an actual family in America.  Now, Bojan is the epitome of health & happiness.  This once considered "mentally retarded, can't do much" child is now in 4th grade with excellent classes.  All regular classes.  Sings in chorus, has too many friends, is running and too many other things to name.  I said running.  When we brought Bojan home, he would fall down about every 3 steps or so.  Rarely falls.  Bojan wants to be a scientist now.  Now, can you imagine if we had just let him sit there?  This kid may find miraculous cures for diseases.  Who knows as the world is endless and so is his potential.  We don't give his prosthetic a second thought and neither does he.  Bojan is the one in the family who keeps us all laughing.  He is our comedian.  He is full of life, full of curiosity and has somuch to give this world.  I can not imagine him not in it.  His transformation both physically and mentally has been amazing.  Could not have asked for a better outcome.  Does he drive us nuts sometimes repeating movie lines?  Absolutely!  Knowing how far he has come though makes me so proud.  It really does. 

This was the first picture that had me hooked!  Notice, they did not show his missing leg and tried to hide the hand missing a finger behind him.  This is typical of Eastern European hide the disabilities.  Though funny, I have never really considered him disabled. 

This was taken at a camp we went to.  What you don't see is this is a huge balancing platform.  That's right, balancing while it moves back and forth.  He could not have done this while at the orphanage.  He has absolutely no limitations and even has a running leg now as well.  Bojan has amazing self-confidence andwe have no doubt he will acheive anything he wants to in life.   Watch out NASA, Bojan is coming!  Hope you enjoyed reading about Bojan's changes as much as I enjoyed writing about them.  Wow, from a 6yo kid crawling around an orphanage to an independent, running, balancing, smart child w/ endless potential.  When the orphanages tell you they can't, just know they CAN!!! 

Come one, come all

Yardsale/ Bakesale

This weekend is the first of our fundraisers.  We are getting prepared, excited, and anxious.  It is always hard to ask for money that's for sure.  That's why we really hope to do some fundraisers that others can get something out of as well.  We'll have a few upcoming gift card giveaways soon just in time for Christmas.  But first, we must make room for three more children & raise the funds to get them here.  What a better way to kick it off than a yardsale/ bakesale?!  We have some volunteers donating items for the sale as well as baking.  Also, have some going to help out at the sale.  There are plenty of items for sale and will be lots of goodies to eat.  I"m organizing who's manning what station at the sale & getting ready to sort today & tomorrow.  Mostly tomorrow.  Baking will take place the next few days.  One thing we really need are tables for displaying stuff.  forgot about that. 

So, if any of you are in the area, come on out to Southills Subdivision for a great sale.  Something for everyone!  100% of proceeds will go to the adoption fund to bring our 3 children home from Bulgaria.  With this first fundraiser combined w/ the previous PPR refund, we should hopefully be able to start our homestudy.  Once a homestudy is done, you can then start preparing dossier documents.  Also, once a homestudy is complete, you are then able to apply for adoption grants.  We were able to receive 2 grants with Alyona and Nik.  However, this time it would be highly doubtful we would get any grants just due to the sheer number of people applying.  In adoption, some refi their houses & take out some equity to help pay for the adoption.  You can no longer do that in this economy w/ banks so more folks are tyring to apply for grants.  Many used to borrow from retirement.  That option has also been depleted due to the recent economy.  So, the importance of fundraisers is even more so nowadays.  I'll do a segment on costs a little later on.  Right now, just want to tell everyone come on out and enjoy a beautiful crisp, fall morning sipping hot cocoa or coffee while looking around at some items to purchase.  You never know what you might find.  Thanks to all who are donating their items, baked goods or time.  It is very much appreciated.  Any suggestions to make the sale an even bigger success, please do share.  Also, any fundraising ideas folks might have please do share.  I know we'll be doing gift card giveaways soon.  In the New Year, we'll also be doing a bulb(flower) fundraiser.  I may do another bake sale of Valentine Day goodies during that time of year.  Meantime, I really need to fill out some more!  When the papers weigh as much as the children, you are then allowed to go and bring them home--LOL.  Have a great week & if local, do stop by and say hello.  We have a wonderful team so it should be an awesome sale!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Poem to share

Another Child Waits

I've watched my friends go home from here,
to their families, one by one,
Yet here I stay thru all these years,
Waiting for you to come.

I know that I'm not perfect,
Yet they tell me that I'm bright,
I just wish that you could only look,
past what is wrong, to what is right.

I've watched my friends go home from here,
I dream of how that'd feel,
A pair of loving arms to hold me,
Will this dream ever become real?

I know that I would be home by now,
If not for fears of the unknown,
Yet I have many of my own you see,
In that you're not alone.

I've watched my friends go home from here,
It's happening to Meili today,
But wait! Her Mama has something for me,
I take it and don't know what to say.

With trembling hands, I open the book,
And peek at what's inside,
A picture of a family,
"Can this be true?" I cried!

I've watched my friends go home from here,
It's my turn now, it's true,
I linger at the gate for one last time,
Then bravely walk on out with you.

We would like to give special thanks for this beautiful poem to Bev Schwab one of our adoptive parents who was inspired by Debbie Bodie.

Above is the referral picture of Nik.  I couldn't find it yesterday.  Now you know why I said yes?!  He's still just as cute.  Love my little guy.  I will hopefully be able to write another transformation story on Bojan tomorrow.  Trying to do one kid a day or so.  Going backwards in order of adoptions.  He's next.  Have a great evening everyone!