Saturday, February 20, 2010

Wanting waiting children & some waiting children

Hello all.  First off, it has been a L-O-N-G week here at Chaos Manor.  It truly has.  Though I haven't reported everything here, suffice it to say we have been pushed to our parenting limits and RAD reared it's head again.  We're back on track.  This happens, I"m used to it.  Doesn't make it any easier if one of them is in that RAD rage mode, but we know it does get better so we keep on.  However, it is very emotionally draining when one of these episodes happen.  For that reason and others, we actually missed our Upwards Games today.  The kids love going, we enjoy it, but we were just plain exhausted.  Poor Warren has been at work today since early morning and is still there.  It's Saturday btw.  He's hoping to leave at 5 but who knows.  Could be midnight before he gets home tonight.  We decided to stay home and super clean today.  Tell you all about that later.  Right now, I wanted to focus on what is called waiting children.

Waiting children are typically special needs children in the adoption world.  These can be children w/ physical or mental disabilities, sibling groups, older children etc.  Some call them hard to place children but most will call them waiting children.  Almost always these children have reduced fees.  Sometimes, significantly reduced fees.  We have adopted all waiting children.  The reasons someone wants a waiting child are totally different for each family.  For us in the beginning of our adoption journeys, it was the reduced fees that were appealing to us for waiting children.  However, once we got Irina and Max home, we could see there was something deeper to wanting a waiting child.  There was something special that you couldn't quite put your finger on.  Next set of children we hosted.  Then Bojan came and he was a waiting child w/ a physical disability.  Never thought I could parent a child like "that."  Wrong again.  Something changed in us while in Serbia.  We grew as people , as parents.  We learned there was something "more" to this waiting child thing.  These were normal children just wanting a home. Nothing more, nothing less.  We met a child that we simply adored w/ Cerbal Palsy there.  Opened our eyes that there are many children just set aside that no one sees, no one wants b/c of their disabilities.  They are just truly waiting children.  Well, we wanted the children.  We wanted waiting children.  In ours eyes we saw they could be normal members of our family.  I think our eyes needed to be opened.  I know there are many other families in the world whose eyes just need a glmipse of these waiting children so they too can take that leap of faith.  Part of our blog I hope will do that.  I see SO, SO many pass up on FAS children.  So many won't go near them.  Ashame I feel.  I feel shame b/c at one time I would not even consider one of "those" kids.  Many times social workers (though intentions are good) will scare PAP's about FAS and RAD.  then, when an oportunity is there, the parent is very terrified.  I'm not saying take these disorders lightly by any means.  I'm just saying there are some folks out there that can handle these type of waiting children.  They just don't know it yet.  They need to be given that chance.  There are so, so many children that are waiting children that just want to be wanted waiting children.   They want that chance.  There are so many organizations and websites to help w/ this.  People just need to know about them.   I try my best to advocate for children when they need homes.  Samuel was one of those children.  He has a family that stepped forward for him.  He will be a wanted child in a family this year.  All because someone wanted a waiting child.  these kids don't have a voice but I sure am going to try to be their voice.  There are disorders in this house that I never thought of or even knew existed for that matter before my kids came home.  Some of the disorders or dx's I have dealt with or will be dealing w/ when the other children come home are:  FAS, RAD, PTSD, OCD, missing limbs, clubfoot, microcephaly, asthma, epilespy, anemia, auditory neuropathy(deafness form), retinitis pigmentosa(going blind), ONH(optic nerve hypoplasia, radial articulation, develmpoemtnal delays, sensory integration, failure to thrive, delayed bone growth, possible dwarfism, eczema, missing part of the brain, one kidney, ODD, and too many other disabilities, labels to think of.  Now, if you had told me years ago I would adopt children w/ these labels, I would have walked out the door.  Shut that door and sealed it off--LOL.  But here we are...wanting the waiting children.  They deserve a home just as much as anyone else.  Most of the time, you learn how to parent a child w/ a disability as you go along.  Just the way it is.  You don't automatically come equipped but you CAN learn.  Shoot, my husband can fix Bojan's prosthetic now and I can name all parts to Nik's implant.  We know what happens if one of our FASers runs out of meds.  You learn.  Just as you would learn if your bio child was born with a disability.  Now, I do understand everyone has limits and that is another post in and of itself.  But for now, I 'm talking to those who are just a bit intimidated of the unknowns.  I've been there.  I get it.  Trust me when I tell you you'll never know until you try.  take that leap fo faith to adopt a waiting child.  They do add so much to your life.  However, I say this not to be taken lightly.  You also have to research the need of the child.  We do this with every adoption.  Talk with people who've dealt w/ that particuiar need and let them educate you.  There is no such thing as a stupid question.  I looked up and asked about selective mutism before we adopted Nik.  That was his first original diagnosis on his medical.  Many of these needs that seem so dramatic are really not all that dramatic at all.  My son is missing a leg.  So what.  Right now, he is spending the night at a friend's house and then they're headed on over to Monkey Joe's to bounce around for awhile at a fun center.  Doesn't sound like he's missing out on regular kid fun does it?  He would have been had someone not wanted that waiting child.  There are many waiting children just wanting someone to take a chance on them.  Take that leap of faith and jump on in.  Your eyes will be opened like never before.  Trust me.  I was one of those skeptics who said I could never parent a child like "that."  No, not me.  I'm not meant to do that.  Glad it's that parent and not me.  I don't think that way anymore.  And I'm just being honest here b/c I'm sure that there are people on here that used to think the way I did.  That I could not do it.  That someone else was better equipped at that job.  those kids did not want me.  Well, that is not true.  YOU CAN do it!  YOU ARE equipped.  Those kids DO WANT you!!  There comes a point when you realize you need each other.  Waiting children need you as much as you need them.  So, with all that being said, I must tell you about a few waiting children we've had on here that still need that waiting family. 

Baby boy-- due in 3 weeks w/ alcohol exposure.  Need a family w/ a completed homestudy.  A post was done just about 2 days ago that you can look at for more details.

Harry-- Oh this is a VERY special child who beat the odds.  He is excelling in school now and just overall doing fantastic.  He is healthy and ready for a family.  His country acccepts singles as well.  2 short trips of about 5 days.  He is 7 years old. 

Sebastian-- 9yo boy that has the most beautiful eyes I have ever seen!  Not kidding.  This child is just absolutely handsome.  He had frequent infections (respiratory) as a child up till age 3yo.  He has bilateral deafness.  100% deafness is what we are told.  Said to wear digital hearing aids and attends a special school for damaged hearing.  Singles are accepted in this country. 

There is a great website as well that has some urgent waiting children.  These children are from Eastern Europe.  Some Ukraine, Russia, Serbia, etc.  Some have VERY reduced fees and some only one trip.  A few kids on there have the reduced fees and only one trip of about 2 weeks.  Babies on up to teens. Here's the site:  www.waitingchildren.wordpress.com .  Take a peek at some of these great looking kids.  Photos are on there but most have more pictures available. 

www.kidstoadopt.org -- this is an agency that has a list of kids available for adoption. 

www.rainbowkids.com--a link that has children listed from various countries

www.adoptuskids.org--this is a list of chidlren available in the US

www.nwae.org--this is a list of children available in the NW United States

www.precious.org--another list of children available from all over the world

www.brittanyshope.org--a list of children available in various countries w/ grants

www.reecesrainbow.com--this site focuses on Down Syndrome but they have tons of other special needs children available as well

Okay, so no one better say there are no children out there.  I gave a few lists of waiting children.  Yes, there are a ton more.  Do check some of htem out.  Nowany questions on the kids I named such as the baby, Harry or Sebastian, please do contact me personally at  boydbunch@gmail.com .  thanks for listening to such a long post.  Lots to say as usual.  I'll write more tomorrow after we've worked outside a bit on the yard.  Need some fresh air.  Supposed to be a gogeous day.  Slowly, we'll get the yard prepped for spring.  Till tomorrow.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Big families

oh, this is a topic we know a little something about.  I personally do not consider ourselves a big family but apparently, we are.  I guess the average per American family is around 2.1 kids still.  Umm, we're skewing the average.  I know I get questions all the time.  Biggest one we get all the time is "how can you afford it?"  And this is not adoption related.  They are just referring to the # of kids.   Simple answer:  we budget.  We live modestly.  We don't have fancy cars or furniture.  There is no marble in this house.  How could there be?  They'd break it.  We find many deals.  The girls and I have fun going to yardsales in the spring and fall.  Just the girls.  I try to take just one at a time.  Sometimes, 2 go w/me.  We have found awesome deals, unique toys and had lots of fun in the process.  Their friends do not know nor does anyone else whether those clothes are brand new or came from a yardsale or second hand store.  Ironically, we always see at least one of their friends out yardsaling as well.  We save money by not having to have all the latest electronics.  Save money by having Warren and Max fixing everything whenever possible.  That helps a bunch.  Warren cuts a couple of the boys' hair.  It's the little things that add up and we just budget very closely.  Our biggest expense, aside from the mortgage, is our grocery bill of course.  However, we happen to have the coupon queen who lives a few doors down.  I'm serious.  She lives in this neighborhood & now has her own segment on the news.  It's great.  Our grocery bill used to be around at least $1000 a month.  I've gotten it down to around $800 a month but it is more expensive to try to do organics or eat healthy.  But, that's what we're trying to do.  Not for everything as I have a cake sitting on the microwave right now waiting to be iced.  And you can be rest assured that there is NOTHING organic about that cake--LOL!  It's baby steps we're doing but does cost a bit more.  My salad dressing is one of those things.  Lots of fresh fruit & veggies.  Anyhow, I am hoping to get it down to about $600 a month next.  That is for 9 people to eat 3 meals a day all month long.  Not bad.  I think this month I got it to about $700 for the month.  So, careful planning for sure and lots of couponing.  Faye would be proud.  No ordering pizza at the last minute.

Another question we get is "where do they all sleep?"  I explained that in a previous post.  Yes, they do all have their own beds.  We add to the house when needed and make adjustments.  We don't go out and buy a new home.  We make this one work.  For the next set of kids, "Cutie Pie," Alyona and "Little Bit" will all sleep in what will be a large room w/ a catwalk around the top where the beds will all be.  It will have a slide in the room as well.  This room is currently the garage.  It is a room we don't talk about.  Don't ever want to open the door to b/c we're so embarassed.  However, I'm going to show you a peek. This garage below will become the girls' room with all pink in it.  Alyona wants to paint it bubble gum color.  Fine.  We let our kids pick their own colors for their rooms and decorate the way they want to.  And boy do they ever.

For eating, we have a dining room table that seats 12 people.  Just enough when the other 3 arrive.  Right now, we have it set up for seating for 10.  Not a big deal.  The kitchen does have two fridges and two sinks.  There are 3 bathrooms in this house, however, one of them does not have the shower hooked up yet.  3 bathrooms seems to be enough.  For now.

We of course have a big van for transportation.  We would have loved a Sprinter Van but they are out of our price range for sure.  Would save us on gas though.  The van is pretty plain.  Nothing fancy but gets us from point A to B.  We purchased this van through Ebay as well.  It retailed for $40K just a few months before we picked it up for $12K.  Again, a big family has to be great at bargin hunting.  The van was practically new.  Has been great so far.

Many of our outings are done for free or at least at a discount.  When we went to Myrtle Beach, SC this past Christmas, we were able to get $250 rooms per night for $35 per night.  We also pack our own food or go to a local Walmart when we arrive.

In other words, it is not kids that cost you the money, it is the lifestyle you live.  Yes, we could have stopped at two kids.  Warren and I would have been able to have more expensive cars or a bigger home.  But really, I think that home would have been too quiet and too empty.  Just doesn't work for us.  Plus, there would have been 8 other children w/out a family to love them, w/out a home, and some of them...w/out life.  So, we'll take our big family anyday.  Okay, so today has been a rough one.  But we really would take our big family anyday over the alternatives we were presented.  I must say this life is not for everyone.  You have to let things go a lot.  Your house is not ever going to be spotless.  Your home will never be quiet.  Your pantry will never be full.  Your vacations are no longer plans to the Bahamas.  Yet, your life is full.  You are grateful and happy for what you have.  Our door is always open.  We always have room for more.  Though, 10 kids is it for us.  I don't think that is too many.  I think it is just perfect.  We may not be the best dressed family on the block but I can guarantee you the smiles are genuine.  I would have never thought years ago I would become the mother to 10 children.  It was just too "big" to phatom that.  Now that it is going to happen, it just seems, well, no big deal.  We have a routine that works for our family.  Does it work all the time?  No.  We have learned to be more understanding as the parents of a big familiy.  We have learned tolerance.  We have learned patience(don't you all laugh as you know this is my weakness).  We have learned to laugh at ourselves.  So many lessons come w/ being the parents of a big family.  I think in the end, it really does make us better parents.  Not sure what grade our kids would give us though.  Just want what all families want whether big or small.  To have happy, healthy, well-adjusted childrne that grow up to be productive members of society.  So, do you think our family is too big??  Or just right. 

Happenings around the house

Thought I'd do a few more picture updates & what's happening here.  Some great things, some not so great things.  Teens are testing limits...one in particuliar... so having to lay down the law.   Never fun as a parent but definitely necessary at times.  So, if you don't see 7 happy faces in pictures for a few weeks, you'll understand why.  So, a few more pictures are below. 

 

The other day we were getting ready to go to basketball practice and Alex comes into me and said Max tied up Alyona and Nik.  I go outside and this is what I find.  Alyona is not happy.  Nik will smile at everything.  Max untied them and then some of kids decided to mess around further w/ the rope:



I swear my kids could have fun in a desert w/ a cactus and sand.  They find all kinds of ways to entertain themselves.  Great usually but not when we really need to get going to practice.



This is Yana practicing for soccer tryouts.  Max decided to coach her as she is limited in her knowledge of soccer.  I thought that was very nice of Max to do.  He volunteered to help his sister learn so that she could try out.  We wish her the best of luck.  Thirty some people are trying out and only 18 can make it.  Either way, committing to do something and following through is invaluable lesson in life.  Let you know how it turns out.



Don't know if some of you remember or not, but Max is our resident artist.  He drew this mural on a friend's wall.  It is obviously not done yet but had to get a picture if it started.  It is all penciled in right now and there is an astronaut there as well.  Can't see the pencil drawing.  Anyhow, figured you might want to see the start of the drawing.  I will show the finished product once done.  He has already told me painting is harder than sketching.  

Grades in school.  Phenominal this go around!!!  Real actual progress being made.  Progress reports were outstanding.  Language Arts, Irina had almost all 100's thus far.  Even for her project.  Yana made a 100, 95, and 85 in her core courses.  She's well on her way to getting out of self-contained such as Max did earlier this semester.  Max is doing great is what his teacher told me on the phone.  Doing the work and keeping up.  She said he's struggling in math but we all knew that would happen going in.  It is by far his weakest subject.  He's working on it though.  Alyona is starting to read.  Wahoo!!!  Sight words but she's working on it.  Bojan is doing beyond excellent.  Very proud of all my kids and their school work.  Hope it continues.  Alex is having a hard time academically in math.  He's like Max in that area.  It is something we're working on though for sure.  I have a parent -teacher conference tomorrow w/ Yana's teacher.  Had an IEP meeting for Alyona last week.  It's that time of year.  Those are some minor updates.  Some waiting chidlren updates coming soon for sure.  Lots of great kids available.  Awesome kids and VERY deserving of a home.  Can't wait to tell you about some of them.  Some, you've heard of before.  Some, may be new.  Promise the last of the deaf posts iscoming up.  Just been a really, really busy week for me.  Tomorrow, I should be able to catch up for hte most part.  Enjoy the evening. 

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Wednesday's Waiting Child (infant)

This is an urgent plea as maybe some of you know of someone that could be a potential family.  There is a caucasian baby boy due in 3 weeks in CA.  Does not matter what state you live in.  We need a family who already has a homestudy (NO exceptions..trust me, I've asked!) and willing to move quickly to adopt.  this is a baby that has definitely had prenatal alcohol exposure and will most likely have FAS(fetal alcohol syndrome).  As you all know, 6 of my 7 are affected w/ this to some degree so my heart aches for this littel boy to find a family that will understand the life long effects he will have from the alcohol.  Our homestudy is not done.  So, I have to do all I can to help spread the word for a deserving child to find a home.  Contact me at boydbunch@gmail.com for more information.  Thanks for reading this urgent request.  I know this baby's family is out there waiting for him. I  just need to find them and fast.  Time is of the essence.  I will post more info on waiting children tomorrow.  Been a long night already.  Teens are testing limits! 

Picture updates

Just thought I'd put in a couple of picture updates today.  It has been a very busy day.  BTW, we got the old passports...wahoo!!!  Makes it that much more real that we're going.  Really does.  Waiting on the FBI fingerprint checks and know they'll be awhile.  I should also get my dossier kit soon.  I'm ready to get started.  Oh, SO ready.  Should be flying over stuff the next few weeks.  And now, for some boring updates.

 

As everyone knows, all our kids are in the special education program in one way or another.  What most don't know, is we have one of the worst special ed programs in the state. I'm not exaggerating.  It's nuts here what we have to fight for...the basic services.  They don't recognize dyslexia as a learning disability even!  None of my kids have that but still, gives you an idea of the stupidity of it all here.  Many parents here have to hire lawyers to get proper help.  Sad really.  These kids have so much potential.  I'll write about the schools one of these days.  This photo is of my IEP's from this yea;r so far.  I attend IEP meetings for my children.  Last week's was Alyona's.  I sat there dumbfounded that they are making her take a standardized test for the state of NC and she can't even read yet.   

  

These are not pretty but this is what you get when you have a 2yo and 3yo helping you.  They helped me make them AND ice them.  You can't tell by the platter too well but they are in the shape of hearts.  We enjoyed eating them for sure.  For those who are trying to raise money, think of doing a "job" versus selling things.  I put ads out for babysitting, simple chores, etc.  Turns out my neighbor needed a part-time sitter during the week.  I enjoy her children and am very grateful I had the opportunity.  So now, it has turned into a little job which will help with adoption costs.  So, do think about possibly doing that.  Just an idea.  We all devoured these cupcakes.  

 

This is "minnie mouse."  That's always been Alyona's nickname and we really can't tell you why.  Just something that stuck.  She is proudly holding her tooth.  I swear we must be the ONLY family in  America that has a "tooth mouse" visit versus the tooth fairy.  It all started b/c Yana told us the mouse visits them in Russia.  I have never heard of this at all.  Not from anyone else.  Dont' know if it was orphanage specific or what.  Well, it stuck.  So now, they loose a tooth, we have to open a stupid window for the mouse to get in to get hte tooth.  Yes, even in the middle of winter.   The tooth mouse here always leaves them a dollar.  Then they go to the dollar store.  


 

Bad picture but had to catch Alex in the act.  Warren and I actually have a separate peanut butter jar from the kids.  Why?  Because for some reason all my children think they need to lick the entire knife and then dip it back in the jar...yuck.  Alex is making his lunch for tomorrow for school.  He's licking his lips here after just finishing off the knife.  

 

Irina made this in art last semester and just got it back.  They never had the chance to glaze it.  It was supposed to be pottery imitating ancient Greece.  I think  she did a great job.  How about you??  Irina made this one.  I'm going to use it for a potted plant I think.  


 

I am VERY limiting on how much video game time my kids have.  They do not play everyday and they are allowed to play 20 to 30 minutes at a time when they do play.  These two are SO obsessed I have to be extremely careful.  Last year, Bojan did not even move.  NOt even to go to the bathroom.  That was the most disgusting thing I think I have seen.  Nik was literally distraught yesterday as I said he could play video games, then went to his bookbag not thinking much of it.  Pulled out a pink slip for him getting on trouble on the bus.  Ran over, turned off the game.  You thought I had just cut off his arm w/ a razor blade.  He knows when he acts like that, he's going to be banned for awhile.  He tried apologizing, kissing up, etc.  Nope.  I wouldn't budge.  None of my other kids get into it as much.  Just Nik and Bojan.  Still have yet to figure this one out.  We have the Wii system.  It is really fun I must admit.  

 

I am glad on one hand that Alyona has finally learned to use the phone.  On the other...this is all we see.  Her friends call her all the dog gone time!  It really is crazy.  We are still teaching her things...like not to take the phone into the bathroom wiht you when you go to use the restroom.  Glad she is able to communicate with her friends from class outside of school.  I think she is practicing to be one of her sisters.  
A few tidbits of info.  Much going on here at Chaos Manor.  Car needs inspecting.  Doesn't sound like a big deal but we now have to replace Warren's entire windshield.  Not ever cheap of course.  His car also needs new tires, oil change, alignment and forget what else.  Shoot, isn't that enough?  Warren is working this weekend so I have the kids myself most of the time.  We have basketball all day Saturday but are planning to go absolutely nowhere on Sunday.  The teens have all had some major projects lately and it is time consuming.  I have a few parent-teacher conferences coming up so will be busy wiht that.  I started a job watching my neighbor's kids so that keeps me busy & off the computer during the day.  4 younger ones are all in the midst of basketball season and enjoying it.  Bojan's leg is totally broken so he is currently using his running leg.  Not the ideal situation but glad we have a spare.  Calling tomorrow to order the part.  He should be getting his brace in soon too.  Everyone is currently healthy.  Phew.  However, that could change quickly.  There are many, many viruses going around the schools and just trying to make sure everyone stays healthy.  I do what I can.  I'm still reading my camera manual to soak up some info.  It's a start.  I'm really going to try to learn some basic digital photography this year.  Should be fun.  More going on.  TEll you all later. 

Monday, February 15, 2010

Our weekend

Now that I filled you in on the adoption front, time to get back to regular family life.  For that is what you do when you are adopting...keep living and try not to think too much about the kids that will be joining your family.  Trust me, I know it is very hard to do but you have to in order to keep your sanity.  So, for life here, we went to bed late, late Friday night as we were SURE they'd cancel Upwards basketball the next day.  Ummm, no, they did not. So, to bed late they went Friday night after all the excitement.  Remember, any type of snow here is a big event.  It did provide a beautiful view though and was great to wake up to.  So, while eating pancakes, sausage and orange juice for breakfast, we got to enjoy this breathtaking view:

 

Isn't it just beautiful?  Nice to have a hot breakfast together while staring out at some of nature's beauty.  
Not too much time to stare however, as we had a game to get to.  We enjoy watching them play but being there 5 straight hours is SO hard. But, we made it there and Nik was first up.  Then, Alyona, Bojan and Alex.  We brought our lunch as usual.  Here's a few pics:


 

This is Nik after he just got called out.  He is ready to play.  He has some great teammates this year for sure.  And, his coordination has gotten so, so much better compared to last year.  Notice, the no glasses thing.  Oooh, I'm so mad.  Okay, he's supposed to wear glasses.  We went to get him new glasses and Warren let Nik pick them out.  He's always had round glasses and these were more of a rectangular shape.  Remember, Nik picked them out.  They come in and Nik said he wanted the round ones...urghh.  No,we're NOT going to go buy yet another pair of glasses.  Some of you know the history behind the eye glasses wearing and some don't.  Suffice it to say, we've bought enough glasses to probably keep an optometrist shop in business for months.  Moving on.

 

Alex, trying to pass the time by being goofy.  BTW, Nik took this shot.  He thought it was funny.

 

Boredom is starting to take over here.  Teens are ready to go.  Alex is just hamming it up for the camera.   These by the way are the coveted chairs everyone wants.  They're cushiony.  Otherwise, you're stuck sitting on hard bleachers for hours on end.  Not fun.  Must say though, we feel like chair vultures waiting for a seat when it comes available.  My back was so sore after Saturday's game.  Spent most of it on the bleachers.  


 

Here's Bojan getting ready to run.  See him putting that running leg to action.  He loves the fact that he can run better with it.  Once again, I have to say  a big huge thanks to the Challenged Athletes Foundation(CAF) that made the grant possible.  For those w/ kids w/ limb differences, they give these grants out every year.  You do have to apply and have recommedations and such but it is so very worth it.  He just lights up about being able to run better with it.  Wish insurance companies would give more than just the one standard prosthetic to kids.  It opens doors if they have some other opportunities for sure.  He next wants a swimming leg.  

 

This is Alyona and 'J'.  Aren't they cute as can be?? ' J' likes Alyona and Alyona likes 'J'.  Too funny to watch these two tease each other.  Earlier in this shot, those two were arguing about the color of his skin.  Alyona was positive he was black and 'J' said no way, can't you see I'm brown?  He didn't believe she was 10 so that was the next argument.  They went on like this the whole game and in between their arguements, always ended up like this:

 

Too sweet, huh?  All of us were cracking up at these two.  Great little kid though.  She laughs when you mention his name.  A little giggle and then a smile.   Ahh, to be young again.


 

This is when you know it is getting time to go home.  Nik and Bojan were putting on their shirts to look like babooshkas.  Little old grandmothers.  Many of these walking around Eastern Europe.   
So after all the playing around, it was time to go home.  We were supposed to go to a wonderful bonfire at our friend's farm but were just honestly so exhausted.  We were just ready to go home and crash.  And that is what we all did.  Got up the next day and plan to get stuff done.  And boy did we ever.  More pictures and posts.  Hoping to finish up Nik's deafness posts in the next day or so.  Just been really busy trying to get NC tax situation settled.  URGHH. Never dull. 

Small victories on the adoption front

Adoption, when something goes "right," you celebrate.  It does NOT matter how small that thing is, you take it as a huge sign you are on the right track.  Well, this Friday afternoon, we got a partial victory.  Here's a peek:

 

Do you know what that could possibly be?  No, not the stains on the envelopes silly.  The actual envelopes!  Here's a hint:  They're from the US Government.  No guess yet?  Here's another hint:

 

That's right.  Our US Passports that will allow us to travel to Bulgaria!!!!  I didn't want to take a picture of the actual passport.  No telling what stupid rules there might be out there w/ that.  So, a brochure will have to do.  What I hated about getting the passports renewed is that we had to turn in our old passports.  That was more of a memoir to me of where we'd been to bring our children home.  How we've travelled halfway around the world to bring them here.  Just wish they'd let you keep the old one.  The new passports are harder.  I learned from Warren that apparently there is a microchip in them.  I don't like that idea but not much I can do about it so I just enjoy the fact that we have our passports in hand.  It is much different than our old passports for sure.  All I really care about though, is it gets us to Bulgaria and back!  
Our FBI fingerprint checks are still not back yet.  We actually sent those off before the passports.  I'm hearing though that these things are taking months to get back.  Impatiently, I wait.  Never been a patient person but as I've said before, the adoption process helps with that.  I'm learning.  

The dossier kit is being sent to me this week.  Wahoo!  I will have my first look at it later this week and let you all know how it is.  I hear it is less than Russia so there is at least a plus.  Still, it's enxtensive, I'm sure.  Piles of paperwork are worth every bit of craziness & headache that come with it.  Our kids waiting for us halfway around the world are worth it to us.  I will fill out, get signatures, drop off papers, make phone calls, etc.  Everything I need to do to bring the kids home.  I can actually say I'm excited about this dossier kit.  I know it will be my last one.  Forever.  Done.  I look forward to each and every page and completing it knowing full well I'll never have to do it again.  Knowing at the end of all thsoe signatures, there are 3 great kids waiting to become part of the Boyd Bunch.  So, I have a feeling next week you'll be getting more lessons on dossier paperwork.   There are some hints you know that do help.  I will share those next week when I discuss filling out a dossier. 

I will post more later today on our weekend.  Busy, busy and I'm still tired.  I don't have to watch the babies today so am cleaning up, doing paperwork(surprise, surpise), some blogging, and organizing.  Chat later w/ some pictures to follow.  BTW, finally started reading the camera manual.  Going to next find a book someone recommended.  Any sites anyone has for me to learn about digital photography, do let me know.  SO excited to learn about it.  Want to learn how to take some decent pictures of my kids.  Much more to come.