Adoption Front-- Sent the check overnighted for Irina's biometrics. Waiting on that fingerprint appointment for her. Once paper is in hand, we'll go down there in person, waiting & hoping they'll see us before our scheduled appointment. Shoot, if tears would help, I'd shed a few. Once this is done, approval of the I-800A is ready to be done. That is then sent with our "official" dossier to be given a travel date. This just seems to drag on. But, so far w/ any adoption this has been the case. Then, all of a sudden everything happens at once. Just need to be prepared.
Re-adoption front-- It's been approved by the court!!! Wahoo, Irina is officially ours...again...in this state....after 10 years. LOL. We beat our deadline of the 27th, her birthday, so that it will count. Told we "may" need this to be the case when she applies for SSI as an adult. No they won't take our income into account but they have all kinds of "funny" little rules that have to be in place. Again, this is all new to us since we do not collect SSI on any of our children. I'm learning as I go. Intentions are to re-adopt the other 9 once the Bulgarians are home. That batch we will most likely do on our own as we can't afford to go through a lawyer again. Only reason we did it this time was due to the time constraints & we couldn't have gotten the 90 waiting period waived where lawyers can. Anyhow, it's done and a sense of relief.
Serbia-- Bojan is from Serbia. Over the past few years, I've kept in touch w/ his doctor that was there at the orphanage. Jasmina has one of the kindest hearts I know & does so much for the children there. Anyhow, I've been horrible this past year at keeping in touch the way I should. Not only w/ her but w/ someone else that is very special in Bojan's life. She's great too. So, I decided to get my act together & get back in touch. Made an online photo album that they send you as well. I will give that to a family traveling soon & they'll deliver it in person to Jasmina. I'll have one for his very special person as well to forward to her. Part of me truly wants to take Bojan w/ us on our first trip to meet her but just don't know if we have the funds to do it. Yet, it is the trip of a life time & probably the only time we would be able to meet the important people of the first few years of his life. I'm thinking really hard about it all. Trouble is, it is two weeks & the first trip would be tough for us to do as emotions would be high going to Bulgaria. Second trip may be better & then I'd have Irina and Bojan w/ me. We'd do a stop over in Serbia and then onto Bulgaria to pick up the kids. Time will tell. Just an idea I'm throwing around. First, have to ask if they are open to it over there though I know they will be as over the years I've been asked if we ever get the chance to visit, to do so. Would love to as I think it would mean so much to Bojan.
Testimony-- We were asked if we wanted to give any testimony at church during Upwards season. We said sure. So, it will obviously be on adoption. Nervous but you never know where things can lead. Maybe others will be led to adopt. Need to pick a date soon.
Me-- I know, not the most interesting topic but I'll cover it anyways. I was rather sick this past week. Mostly head cold, sinus stuff. But, when you have 15 kids here, it just makes it that much worse it seems. Tuesday was truly rough. I had 4 "littles" here & I took them to the bounce house. Okay, so that was probably one of my brighter ideas. They wanted me to jump w/ them but I kindly told them Ms. Stephanie's head would explode. Came home, all ate hot soup for lunch & I tried to convince them a movie was the best option. Luckily, it was early release so by this time my high schoolers were here to help. Then, friends came over too. Now, usually I'm okay w/ this many here & join in at times on the action. But my head & face were just hurting. Able to convince them homemade playdough was awesome & that sparklers in December were the greatest thing since sliced bread. That is until one of the "littles" went running w/ said sparkler & ended up burning herself near her hair. The scene though played out like a movie. All of us are out there but Max & I were the ones lighting them & getting them safely into hands. Old & young. Picture this: Alex is trying to carry her, she's screaming bloody murder, and all the while Alex is screaming "she's on fire, she's on fire!" If she was on fire & all those marks were truly from fire, I had to get her to the hospital. Well, once I get her in, I discover those marks are NOT soot. No, it's mud & dirt from where she fell. There was one little burn mark. A little TLC & she was good as new & ready to go outside & do it all again. This time, she did not run a once. I've just been run down this week as I've been sick & need a break. cAn't get one though for sure. The next day I went to the doc who said "you look rough." Ummm, not the best thing to say to a patient who hasn't slept in days, has had more kids at her house than a day care, hasn't finished Christmas shopping, & is sick as a dog. We know them well there though & they know us so antibiotics it was & I was off. Told no activity outside for a few days & to rest for about a week. Then he laughed. Yes, told you they know us well here.
House repairs-- house is holding up. Thank goodness. After the holidays the handyman will be back to fix the back door & "silly putty"(plumber's putty) will be gone along w/ all the rot. No more leaky door & wet floor when it rains. My parents had given us some cash for Christmas & we thought it was best to fix our door. Rot was spreading. Rest of the stuff has got to wait until after the adoption. There will be a whole separate post on adoption expenses & some of what is happening with it all.
Puppies-- Alaska and Kota are growing like crazy. We're having a lot of fun with them for sure. Love it. They each have their own personality and so glad we got two at once. They are very close yet independent. They used to sleep together but now have their own spots they prefer. They do go exploring in the woods together though. And they love all the kids, ours & visitors. Couldn't ask for better dogs. BTW, all of this litter was adopted out. They both go to the vet on Monday. Healthy dogs w/ quite a healthy appetite. I don't even want to know what they weigh now. They are starting to get to heavy to carry. They know sit but need to learn other commands. Working on that next. They come when they are called... most of the time. So happy we brought them home. I posted some precious puppy pics on the last post. Check them out. Click on them to see the cutie pies.
School-- School is out for now. We are going to homeschool Irina this semester & find her a job. Hopefully. Jobs are hard to come by as we all know. We will begin homeschool some of the others in the fall. Need to wait till the other kids get home plus I hate starting mid-semester. I like doing unit studies & this will be my first high schooler so I'll learn as I go...to a point. her cirriculum will be much different than most as it was different at school too. Our plans are to do things a little differently next year as a family. We will be traveling more for sure with all the kids. Want to explore more places, be more hands on, & learn much more. Kids are already telling us what they want to learn & where they want to go. We want to be one of the families that watches the groundhog in PA to see if it sees it's shadow or not. Learn the area, go to Philadelphia during that same trip & learn some history. Again, hands on. Making lots of changes for next year in the way we do things and what we want in life for all our children. For now though, keeping w/ public school & just homeschooling Irina in January.
Christmas-- Well, it's tomorrow & I'm dealing with the same things I deal with every year...over stimulation. Our two RADishes have been in rare form the last two days. Oy~! Is all I can say. Yana and Alex have driven me nuts. Being honest here & these are MY kids, MY experiences... your mileage may vary. What I've noticed w/ my kids over the years is that holidays are a bit much for them. They can handle it & do but boy do we have our moments. This morning was one of them. I told Alex how about a game of dodge ball, just you & me. Just you & me kid. He did not accept my offer. I had had just about all I could take of Alex. He was mean to everyone to the point that everyone was asking me to send him outside. He then proceeded to "play" outside. Took the soccerball & kept pelting it at the brand new windows! URGHH!!! That's when I offered him that game of dodge ball that never took place. You all may think that's mean but that is the only way Alex will "get" what you are talking about. He knew I was serious then if I was challenging him to a game as he thinks he is the king of sports & can do anything. I've tried to find distractions, things for him to do, etc. but it's of no use. He's out of routine, out of sync & we all just have to muddle through. What makes it worse is we go to my in-laws the day after Christmas which then will send him into another episode as he's out of whack w/ the schedule. The other kids are fine but Alex has been my greatest challenge for sure during this break. We'll get through. Just want to show others that it is not all roses for sure. RADishes can heal but will always have some issues & typically other dx's as well. With these dx's, structure & routine is key & during a holiday, that is all thrown out the window. Again, we do this every year, it's okay. Just tiring after such a week of not feeling well. I really did digress. We've been baking some cookies today but eating most all of them. LOL. Kids cleaned the whole house as they want Santa to see it. Umm, yeh kids cleaning it one day out of the year will make up for the rest of the year. No. All in all, they have been good. Just hope they can make it through church this evening. Afterwards, we plan to drive around the neighborhoods looking at lights. Then, Santa time! They are all ready & should be interesting to see how they & the pups react to Christmas.
Sick ones-- Bojan was literally in bed all day yesterday throwing up the entire day. Thankfully, he's fine now. and, we didn't need to get him IV fluids. Huge relief. Nik was feeling just as rough but never threw up yesterday. Speech therapist did not come in. LOL. I'm on antibiotics now & finally turning a corner. So, everyone is getting healthy again.
That was a little of catching up. There is much, much more. Alex is already better this afternoon than this morning. Thought of erasing what I wrote but I think it's important for others to see you can live with kids w/ severe mental, emotional, & behavioral issues but it can be challenging at times. No, I would never had played dodge ball w/ him. Mainly, b/c he'd beat me. I've gone for walks w/ just Alex to try to get the calm & reason w/ him more. It works short- term & then he's back to the same old, same old. We're getting there slowly. Excitement is in the air for sure here. All are trying to guess what they'll get from Santa. We'll see. I do need to take a picture of the pups w/ a note. That was their group gift...the puppies. They knew this but I'm sure have forgotten. I'm interested in what the teens will think of their gifts. They only got about 3 but you'll see why. Reminded all the teens I spent the same on everyone but you can but more little items for the younger kids for less money than what yours were. They've all said yes mom, we know. Tomorrow you'll all find out all the goodies they got. Right now though, getting ready for church. For that is the real reason we celebrate this season. Don't want my kids to forget that. Need to go get all of us ready for service tonight. I know this sounds terrible but not sure how long they'll all make it there. Hope it's not an overly long service. I'm assuming no children's church so should be interesting. They all have ants in their pants right now. Enjoy this Christmas Eve. I know we are! More to come later. Pictures too. And that concludes my long, boring catch up post.