Friday, February 5, 2010

Brief update

Okay, it's been a weird week.  Many have responded to the reverse hosting program and I am SO excited about that!  Maybe a few more kiddos will find some homes.  Waiting on getting passports back here & it is causing some problems & delays w/ the docs that need passport #'s on them.  Who do you think will be faster?  The FBI or Secretary of State?  Speed in the government sector has never been top priority.  LOL.  Waiting for adoptive parents is excruciating.  It really is.  You are just ready to go from day one but just can't get on that stupid plane any time soon.  Patience...I'm still learning.  Yes, after 7 adoptions, I'm still learning. 

I have to be honest w/ everyone.  This week w/ the kids has been one of those that has questioned my own reasoning for wanting more.  I know everyone has those weeks and we are no exceptions.  Some of my phrases this week that I can recall "give your brother his leg back!"  Don't make your brother laugh, he's throwing up!"  "Don't play w/ the lighter!"  "Get the train out of the flour!"  Yes, dog gone it, you HAVE to go to school on Saturday.  Don't ask me again or I'm going to send you on Sunday too!"  Yes, those were just a few of the phrases that came out of my mouth.  Just has been one of those weeks.  Glad it's almost over and we can start fresh.  My camera doesn't have batteries but will tomorrow. Get ready for some Upwards pictures.  Going to be fun.  Girls have been caddy to each other all week long.  Why?  I really couldn't tell you.  Today, they were hugging each other.  URGHH.  Drives me insane.  Now, tonight, after Warren & I had an interrogation w/ the teens(about some stupid soda..don't ask), we went to Walmart w/ Nik.  This way, they can't blame anything & everything on the deaf one.  Yes, they do that.  Now though, Nik holds his own & will sign to us what happened.  Smart cookie.  Anyhow, we leave for Walmart & decided to get Nik a new pair of glasses while there. He picked them out himslef.  They had frames on sale for $9.  Really, you can't beat that.  $79 total and they are great here about replaceing and fixing constant things broken from our FASers.  No lie.  The reason we went there was b/c Alex broke Nik's glasses on the bus.  We have no proof but know he did it.  Nik told us Alex broke them and Bojan pointed out holes in Alex's story.  Alex's is grounded for something else so this just tacks on time.  Anyway, we go a couple times a month.  No questions.  They are always gracious about it.  Helps that the doctor knows us and lives in our neighborhood.  Did a little shopping for odds & ends.  For those who don't live w/ FAS kids, they can be unpredictable.  We have stuff broken intentionally and unintentionally in this house every single week.  One of the things broken this week was our smoke alarm.  We have 3.  We need all of them and one day I'll tell you why.  Max broke it this week when it malfunctioned and wouldn't stop beeping.  So, he beat it off the ceiling to get it to quit.  My instructions were to make it stop.  I assumed he found a better way.  Umm, no.  Hitting it worked.  New smoke almarm and my other items in hand, we headed out in the pouring rain.  Went home and the kids had pulled together for the first time this week mind you, and did all homewokr, bathed, made lunches tomorrow, and got ready for bed.  They even cleaned up the house.  Maybe everything they've done this week caught up to them.  I don't know.  Just was happy they did it. I will have some more picutres up tomorrow and some happenings around here.  It's not all bad this week.  I guess we all have to have one of those weeks to appreciate the ohter 51 weeks of the year.  Much to tell later.  I will get to it tomorrow evening.  Sunday, we have to make 2 Valentines' Day mailboxes, write over 100 valentines' day cards, do 1 career project, 1 West Africa project, 1 100 days of school project & 1 other project I can't remember.  Tomorrow it is rrands all day and then Upwards until about 8pm tomorrow night.  I think I'm tired already.  I did not get to workout hardly at all this week.  Apparently, I injured myself sledding.  Re-injured myself by doing cardio wokrout on Tuesday.  Going to attempt to exercise tomorrow.  Let you know how it goes.  Miss it which is a good sign.  Enjoy your weekend everyone. Pictures tomorrow and more things to come.  Good night.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Waiting child Wednesday!!! GREAT OPPORTUNITY

Oh you guys are going to love this and honest to goodness wish this would have been in place before we found our 3 newest additions.  This will knock your socks off w/ this opportunity of a lifetime.  A rarity you get to do this.  I have been able to do a hosting program in my home w/ 3 kids that came from Russia.  I ended up adopting two of them.... Yana and Alex.  Well, this is a REVERSE Hosting Program!  You get to go over to EE(It's not Russia btw) and volunteer at an orphanage while seeing if there is a child there you might wish to pursue the adoption of.  Can you believe it?!  There are two orphanages that they will be working with.  One is a Deaf orphanage and the other where they place healthy children.  This is to take place in April.  You would go over and volunteer at the orphanage for about 2 weeks.  IF all your paperwork is in order before you go(this would include a dossier), it is feasible to complete the adoption all in one trip.  It would be about 4 to 6 weeks total if you chose to do it that way.  However, if you go w/ a homestudy and a POA, identify a child & come back, that would obviously be two trips. This program gives you a little flexibility and the ability to identify a child while there.   I can tell you I am SO excited about this and I'm not even going--LOL.  The opportunity to get to see & experience where your children come from & the life they live is just priceless in my opinion.  I do have all contact information obviously and can give a little more detail.  I just had to share this.  This is not just one waiting child for Wednesday( & yes, I know it is Thursday), but a few orphanages full.  Think of what an adventure this would be.   I love this idea!  Feel free to write me at  Please, please put hosting in the subject line b/c I do get quite a few emails a day between adoption stuff, references, etc.  I will answer your emails.  I do promise.  I can tell you I am getting ready to feed the kids & get them in the bed time routine.  Have much to catch up on for my own personal paperwork tonight.  I watched a neighbor's kids today which may lead to a part time job(tell you later), so I am behind.  If I do not get to this tonight, I will indeed write you all tomorrow morning.  Thanks and hope to hear of many going.  I know for one the blessing of having a deaf child.  And years ago, I would have NEVER have said that.  Just being honest here.  They are such creative children.  Off track, sorry.  Please consider this hosting program.  I do think this is an unique opportunity whether you want to adopt a deaf child or a healthy child.  BTW, I believe the ages range from 2 to 13 years old.  Thanks for taking the time to read this and do pass it on.  Totally forgot yesterday(after a few emails) to put in that this is currently for married couples.  I wish I had better news for single parents as there are a great many wonderful single parents out there(know quite a few of them!).  I do not make the rules, however, just relay the messages.  Maybe next time(keeping fingers crossed they'll do this again) they'll open the doors a little more and let singles partake in this opportunity as well. 

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Snow pictures-- a few more

Our snow fun continued all the way into Sunday.  Here are a few more pics from that day of adventure as well.  Hope you enjoy them. 


Remember that tub of gum Warren surprised them with?  Well, here it is all over Irina's face.  And yes, she actually wanted me to take this picture.   Wait, I think this is the gum.  It is either the gum or a silly face mask she and Yana put on themselves.


Getting ready to once again brave the cold.  We think Alyona looks like a little Babooshka here.  She said she used to tie them like this in Russia.  I'm sure she did b/c that is how you'd see allof them wear their scarves in winter.  


Well, this is an unsuccessful attempt at a photo shot.  Did NOT work as you can see.  Can't even see Alex's face.  Love trying different shots with them to see what we can come up with.  Sunburst... no.  Standing   Getting a shot w/ all of them together seems to be rare.  You'd think the older they get the more cooperative they'd be.  Ummm, no.  I tried is all I can say for this one.  


The kids finally got him on the sled!  He wasn't too keen on the idea but hey, at least he tried it.  he'll go on all sorts of thrill rides (roller coasters & all) but didn't want to sled.  Go figure.  He did great.  However, he only went one ride.  Maybe next snow.  Now me, I went down & up and up & down the hills all day.  Roller coasters however, HUGE chicken.  The biggest one alive.  I do not like thrill rides whatsoever.  Though I still hate the really, really fast sled we used.  LOL.  Oh wait, my husband said I use LOL way too much.  I will try to contain that phrase.  Try.  I know very little computer acronyms so I guess I use them while I can.  


Love this picture.  This is IRina coming down the hill.  BTW, this was a street.  And this was not the notarious "Death Hill" either.  This is just a small hill in the neighborhood but boy, you could really, really get up some speed.  It was nuts.  This day it was not snowing outside.  Cold but sunny.  All my kids got sunburned.  I told them put on sunscreen but no one believes mom.  My kids are religious about putting on sunscreen in the summer.  Just have to convince them the sun reflecting on snow is just as rough.  Of course, this was only one day so not too worried.  


Irina does not know he's doing this behind her.  What else she doesn't know is that Bojan does indeed have a snowball in his hand waiting to put it down her shirt.  Nice brother, huh?  Don't worry, she got even with no problem.  You can see the hill in the background.  I ran up and down that thing so many times.  So much fun though.  We really did have a good time.  


This is me and Nik on a sled.  The boogie boards w/ the slick bottoms are the fastest down the hill.  There is another shot on the red raft.  You won't see that one on here.  Nor will you see the crash into the trees.  Or me screaming I hate this red one!  Instead, this is a picture of calm.  Notice the street.  That's the street we live on and it's all ice and snow.  ATV's were driving on it but not too much else.  Again, blue skies and just wonderful to be outside all day with the kids.  Now, I'm ready to get them back outside after being in all day today.  


This picture just about says it all for our whole snow days.  Just look at the expression on Alex's face.  It's priceless!  They went over and over and over again.  Alex did not stop smiling all day long.  We dont' have many pictures of Yana as she was out with her friends all day long.  Once they get older, they don't spend as much time with their parents.  That's for sure.  hope you enjoyed some of these pictures over the past few days.  I do have more.  Just not enough time in the day to post them.  Adoption paperwork is taking precedence now and getting the children home.  I'm sure you all will understand that.  Have a wonderful week.  many, many more posts to come.  I get asked quite a few questions so figured I'd tackle some of the common ones.  Kids have school tomorrow so I am thrilled.  Fun playing with them but nice to get back to routine. 

Cabin fever, complications, and courage

Hope you all have enjoyed the snow pictures of the last few days.  It was really a great time we had.  I will have more pictures from Sunday sometime later.  Right now, trying to occupy 7 kids during a cold, wet rain.  Outside play is done, cocoa has been drank, and crafts are over.  Trying now to ride it out and survive--LOL.  I know some of you other parents out there have children with special needs and understand what it is like whenever they get out of routine.  Crazy is an understatement.  My son was so bored last night, he read 200 pages of the Bible.  Not kidding.  Did he learn anything?  Apparently not as he's been fighting with his sister all morning.  Basketball practice was canceled last night and we still can't leave our driveway.  We're surviving though and that's what counts.  We are all feeling the effects of cabin fever for sure. 

Complications.  Geez.  Okay, Bulgaria needs our documents like yesterday.  I wrote about all this in a previous post.  I filled them out.  We were supposed to scan them in last night...and here come the complications.  Computer trouble w/ all the hookups here.  Remember, our computer crashed in December and we really do need a new one.  Warren tried to rig something up again this morning but it did not work.  He is hoping to come home today and work some miracle on this antiquated machine.  We'll see.  If so, all should be okay for the IAC meeting this coming Friday.  Please send some good vibes, thoughts and prayers our way that these children will indeed remain ours.  I should not be worried as I have faith in this whole process.  As a parent though, you can't help but to worry for your kids.  That's just how we are as parents.  And of course, you need tons of courage to go through all this stuff.  You really do.  You never know what to expect from day to day or document to document.  You put on a brave face and go from there.  I must admit, I'm definitely more outspoken than our first two adoptions.  Not afraid to speak my mind on something.  On days when you want to cry, you muster up courage to go on and continue with this process knowing the ends justifies the means.  Knowing in your heart, the children belong with you and you with them. 

Still working on some papers and most of all fundraising.  A full post on that later.  I have a feeling the next few weeks are going to see much more action on the adoption front.  In the beginning, I know most of it is all talk.  Okay, talking is done and action is starting.  Pens are working on overtime with all the signatures we've needed.  And it is only the beginning.  Paperwork continues when you get home too.  Crazy stuff.  Alright, cabin fever & I have to go tend to them.  Enjoy your day and writing a bunch of stuff tonight.  Hopefully, some thought provoking posts soon.   

Monday, February 1, 2010

Saturday Snow!!!-- part III

Well, some more pics of course.  Hope you've enjoyed some of the pictures of our rare NC snow.  I know we have!  Here's some more to tell the stories. 

This is Bojan attempting to make a snow angel.  Quite unsuccessful when it's ice.  Didn't have the heart to tell them all.  


Another one of our angels...Alyona.  She was trying to keep her hands warm.  Poor thing has not one once of body fat.   Lucky kid.  Alyona is still our pink princess as you can see.  EVen in the snow.  


This is Nik.  Currently, our littlest angel.  And I do realize he has pink gloves on.  They're his sister's gloves.  And her shoes!  His shoes got soak and wet.  We do a lot of improvising here as parents.  


And after a very cold, wet day in the snow, what is better than chili?!  They ate the entire pot full.  Must say, there were absolutely no leftovers...something I was hoping for for lunch the next day.  Oh well.  It was thoroughly enjoyed despite Warren spicing it up a bit.  To top it off, we had this for dessert:


This is a red velvet cake w/ homemade buttercream icing.  Mixed a little blue up so I could write them a special message.  What do you think?  They ate the whole thing over 2 days time.  Well, with the help of friends as it was two layers.  Snowflake was a rush job so looks pretty pitiful.  Can't believe I even took a picture of it.  Great thing is kids don't care what it looks like--LOL.  Got to run.  Dinner time & then paperwork for a rush to Bulgaria.  Tell in another post tonight.  I'm working on it now.  

Welcome to Holland

Below is something I've read many, many times before over the years.  It is always worth passing around one more time.  I copied & pasted it.  It speaks volumes.  I get comments all the time of oh, I couldn't do that.  Do what?  There have been many ups and downs w/ our kids over the years but I think that is true of any family really.  Ours is no different.  We have many disabilities here but that does NOT change who we are as a family.  We for one love Holland.  It is a different way of life here some days.  And that's okay.  We like our life just as it is.  (okay, ask me that question after another snow day happens here--LOL)  Hope you enjoy the poem.  I read this poem more and more as we dive deeper and deeper into the adoption journey.  We're awaiting three more "Holland Natives" to come home.  We always dreamed of having a baby in our home.  Every single adoption journey has taken us away from that.  It's not where we originally wanted to go either.  It's a different place, but a good place. We have been led each and every single time to adopt the older, special needs orphans.  And each and every single time, we started our journey toward wanting to have one baby in the mix.  Just one.  And though it has never happened, it doesn't mean we haven't enjoyed this journey we are on.  It was not the original path we were going to take but it is a beautiful path nonetheless.  Here's the poem:


Welcome to Holland

When you’re going to have a baby, it’s like planning a fabulous vacation trip – to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It’s all very exciting.
After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, “Welcome to Holland.”
“Holland?!?” you say. “What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I’m supposed to be in Italy. All my life I’ve dreamed of going to Italy.”
But there’s been a change in the flight plan. They’ve landed in Holland and there you must stay.
The important thing is that they haven’t taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It’s just a different place.
So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.
It’s just a different place. It’s slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you’ve been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around…. and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills….and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.
But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy… and they’re all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say “Yes, that’s where I was supposed to go. That’s what I had planned.”
And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away… because the loss of that dream is a very very significant loss.
But… if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn’t get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things … about Holland.