Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Deaf Camp!!!--can't wait

Oh, SO excited!  Thought I'd share some info on it.  

Thought I'd pass on some great info for anyone interested. We attend a camp
every year in Roaring Gap, NC. It is the BEST!!! it is put on by the National
Cue Association. You do NOT have to cue to go. We are not a cueing family but are very, very welcomed there. There are signers and cuers. The original
reason our family went was to decide if we should cue or sign. We ended up
signing but were very glad we were exposed to the option of cueing as well.
They have cue classes for those who want to learn. They have many workshops for parents. We have learned something new and useful every single year. Not to mention had a great time doing it. The mountains are beautiful. The food is great and the company is just awesome. Nik loves being around others that are like him. I just told him we were going again this year and he was beyond elated. He started jumping up and down. ALL my kids look forward to going. My oldest will volunteer this year. It is from Friday until Sunday. Just wanted to throw the option out there in case anyone on here wanted to go. Here's a
link:

http://www.cuedspeech.org/sub/general/events.asp?ID=507

http://springcamp.hikids.org

If none of those help, I have the actual application form I can forward via
email to you. Just let me know if you need it. Hope to meet others on here at
camp!  Our email is  boydbunch@gmail.com


Here are a few pics from years past:


 

This is the cabin we stay in.  It sleeps 15 on each side.  So, we'll have enough room for all of us next year too!  They have their own bathrooms in them too which is nice.  They are bunkbeds and it makes us really, really appreciate our beds at home when we're done w/ the weekend.  LOL.

 

they have this giant waterslide all the way down the hill on Friday night.  It is awesome to watch. I do not dare go on it.  I don't see how my Siberian Princesses and Princes go on it quite frankly.  Ice cold water w/ cool temps outside. Yikes.  All are shivering when they're done.  It's insane.  This was from last year so no clear pictures.  Sorry.

 

Everyone is happy despite the lack of sleep.  It is honestly the most relaxing weekend we have all year long.  The cafeteria overlooks the mountains.  Just superb.

 

Blast from the past shot.  This was from May of 2008.  They all look so little.  My how they've grown!  Can't wait to see it this year and then next year w/ all ten kids in it.  


 

And this is the breathtaking view we get to see every single day we're there.  You should see it at night too.  Some of you have to come to this camp in NC.  You just take away so much from it.  Just wanted to share about this amazing camp and hope to see some of you there.  We absolutely love it there.  I'll be sure to take tons of pictures.  It is from May 14th to 16th this year.  

Miscellaneous pictures

Thought I'd throw in some pics in the mix.  Nothing in particular, just stuff that is on the camera. 

 

This is just Nik before one of his basketball games.  His skills have really improved.  Last year, he couldn't even dribble.  Lots of progress in many areas of his life.

 

This is of course Minnie Mouse (aka..Alyona).  She has recently lost a tooth.  She is also scheduled for surgery for her upside down tooth that is in the roof of her mouth.  It is almost through the sinus cavity so it has to come out.  Crazy, huh?  It is one of her permanent front teeth that is lodged in the roof of her mouth so later on she will have to get some type of veneer to go in the front of her mouth.  She & Irina we are told were very close to having a cleft palate.  Dont' know how the dentists can tell that but that's what we've been told.  BTW, a cleft palate can also be a symptom of FAS.  Many things can.  Just like Alex's horseshoe kidney( one big kidney instead of two).  Again, I will write about FAS one of these days as many have asked.  

 

Not the best picture but she was acting goofy.  They were all playing soccer or cleaning up the yard.  Now, mind you, it is in the middle of winter!  My kids LOVE the outdoors.  They truly do.  Trouble is, they always think it is summer and insist it is not cold when I tell them to put pants on or at least sneakers.  She is in flip flops.   It's even worse w/ Irina b/c she can not feel extreme temperatures.  Nor can she really feel pain.  She never felt a nail through her knee.  In the snow, I have to tell her when to come in as she doesn't know when she's truly cold.  Her lips were literally blue when I brought her in the one day.  Some think it would be cool not to feel extreme pain or temperatures.  I can tell you from a parent's perspective it is NOT "cool."  It is terrifying at times.  But, we learn to live with it.


 

This was from Christmas time at my inlaws house.  Alyona does not look happy in this picture b/c she is realizing she has to eat soon.  I have never seen a child quite like her and resistance to eating.  And no, there is NOTHING medical about it.  Trust me, she's been thorourghly checked out. This is all a power struggle.  She wants only sugar stuff and nothing else.   Nik on the other hand, will eat just about anything though he hates lettuce.  Nik, Max and Bojan are our kids that love the spicy stuff.  Better them than me.  

I'll have a post sooner or later that is just different.  Have a great week.

Waiting child Wednesday!!!

Good morning everyone!  It's Wednesday & I'm off to a late start as we had a 2 hour delay here for the "snow."  More like a white dusting.   Should be the last bout of snow we get this year.  Hooray!  Come on spring.  I'm so ready for some gorgeous flowers in my yard.  Tired of the dead stuff.  It is going to be near 70 degrees F on Sunday and Monday.  Needless to say, I think we'll spend the whole day outside. 

Not much going on here.  We have 3 more basketball games left for this season.  Kids have done well and learned a lot.  Bojan can even recite some of the Bible versus he learned.  Now,we are looking into playing on the Miracle League Baseball team this summer.  Still thinking about it.  I try to find a balance of special needs/ "regular" activities to do for my kids.  It's hard but we feel it is necessary to expose them to both as they are very much part of both types of people.  It is very obvious sometimes and sometimes not so much.  Again, just have to find that balance. 

I'm in the midst of scheduling a bunch of things to get done. Trying to do all surgeries I can before we leave for Bulgaria in a few months(keeping fingers crossed here).  So, Alyona is getting surgery on this Monday.  Then, I will schedule her a few weeks later for a tonsillectomy.  After Bojan gets his AFO(brace), we wait a month and then schedule the surgery for the clubfoot.  Dont' know what type of surgery yet.  We've even discussed amputation but doc is very reluctant.  Bojan wants an amputation and I can't blame him.  He can't flex this foot at all and there is barely any more room for corrective surgery again per doc.  Time will tell.  So, that is 3 surgeries.  We may take Nik for a look at too for tonsils/ adenoids.  He really can not breathe right.  We'll get that checked out by an ENT soon.  One thing at a time.  Yana's been getting migraines everyday again.  Need to go back to neurologist and see what they can do this time.  MRI was clean about 2 years ago.  We just can't figure out the headaches. 

Sorry I got sidetracked.  It is WEdnesday and I really want you all to look at a site that has some great kids that really, really need their forever families.  One little girl, Angelina, is just precious.  Her special need is just clubfoot(they say bent feet but taking a wild guess here).  She recently turned three.  She is in a country that takes married couples w/ only one trip of about 2 to 2 1/2 weeks needed.  No visas to that country needed.  BEautiful country and great orphanage.  I know, I've been there!  (yes, that was your hint).  Please check out all the children.  Many, many fees have been reduced.  Here's the link:  http://waitingchildren.wordpress.com/ .  These children are ready for their forever family.  You may be that family today!  The contact information is on there for more details on the children.  Many have photos and some even videos. 

Hopefully, I'll have another post soon.  I'm working tomorrow and Friday so posts will be late for sure.  I don't get on the computer when I'm watching someone else's children b/c I just want to make sure they are taken care of.  Now, my kids are older and I can type on here and watch them at the same time.  Our computer is in  a very open area.  But, when it is my responsibility to take care of someone else's children, the computer is not on my mind.  Especially, when I'm chasing them around anyhow.--LOL.  I'm definitely getting my practice in for when Little Bit comes home.  Enjoy your day.  Must get some more accomplished today. 

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

URGHH!!!

Usually I only post if I have something to say.  Well, this will be brief just /bc I'm waiting for stuff to reprint.  Why do you ask am I waiting for stuff to reprint??  Why should I have to reprint some of my dossier kit?  Because, one of my children decided to do artwork on my POA's.  Stars and squiggley lines.  All part of the process. Hey, best part is that it was NOT notarized yet.  Unlike the FBI fingerprint cards w/ peanut butter on them.  I'm sure Bulgaria wouldn't mind the extra artwork, do you?  Now, almost done printing.  Again.  Filling them out & saving them in another place this time. 

Just been one of those days.  Getting some things done though.  Thought I"d get the mini dossier notarized today but has to be tomorrow morning.  Alyona did not eat this morning so she had to stay here until she did.  Hate that.  I refuse to do a G-tube for her.  Working on this problem.  She's so thin, she has to eat.  IF she misses two meals in a row, she throws up and needs medical care.  It's very frustrating.  So, dealing w/ her put off the notarizing one more day.  No big deal in the grand scheme of things.  We'll do it tomorrow.  Working on the dossier stuff but much of it needs to be done by the homestudy agency.  I will do all the parts I can for sure. 

Alright, done printing.  Goign to fill out some more stuff.  I did a post earlier on the Special Olympics.  Check it out!  Alyona is just really excited about it.  Enjoy your week.  Humor post coming tomorrow. 

Special Olympics coming soon!!!

Got the notice yesterday about Alyona going to the Special Olympics again this year.  She is SO excited.  She won two medals last year, one of which was gold.  She was so happy that day.  Alyona thought she could do anything.  Last year I homeschooled IRina and Max and they were able to go w/ us to Special Olympics.  It was an awesome experience for all.  We took Alyona out for pizza afterwards.  She would purposefully jingle the medals so everyone would ask about them. They are used to this in the restuarants in town on this day as it happens every year.  Very nice to the athletes as well.  Here are some pics from last year's events.  I had an old camera so not great pics but you'll get to see some fun times I think.  Here goes:

 

This is 7Lee & Alyona getting ready for the race.  7Lee is one of Alyona's best friends in school.  They play w/ each other and have a good time together.   With self-contained classes, the children get to know each other well as they are in the same class for years.  Alyona was excited b/c her sister put her hair up in pigtails for the big day that day.  

 

This is Alyona in 3rd place for the bronze medal.  This was for running.  I forget how many meters.  She did good though.  

 

Alyona was beaming here w/ pride!  She won 1st place..the gold medal for the softball throw.  Okay, others went up & threw the ball.  Just 2 or 3 feet away.  So, they figured Alyona would do about the same and so did we.  Little did we know Alex had been coaching her for the last two weeks on how to throw a ball(his expertise).  She threw the ball half way across the field and the whole crowd went wild while mom & dad about fell over.  Where did that throw come from?  Sure enough when everyone asked where she learned to throw like that, she told them all her brother Alex me.  It was a great moment.  


 

Do you think Warren is proud of his little girl??  She thought it was the coolest thing to be on Daddy's shoulders that day.  

 

Alyona goofing around w/ Irina on the way home.  We went out to Pizza Inn and then to clear up something w/ the insurance company.  Anyone we ran into congratulated her and made her feel very special.  Alyona is limited in what she can do and Special Olympics takes those limitations away.  I'm telling everyone even if you don't have a special olympic child, go to one game(just once a year folks..one day) to just cheer on the athletes. They get such a kick out of everyone cheering them on.  You make their year.  Trust me, you do.  So, if any of you local people would love to come out and support Alyona, she'll be participating in two events on April 16th at the Smithfield-Selma highschool.  I'll put more info up as I learn more.  She is already talking about going.  

Monday, March 1, 2010

A daughter's wish

As you all know, I have been organizing quite a bit lately.  Well, I came across a piece yesterday and it was written by Irina.  I am going to write it exactly as she did.  I think it says a lot & give you my thoughts on it at the end.  Here goes:

Wish #1

If I could grant a wish to someone then I would grant the wish to my mom.  My mom really wants a baby on her own.  She wants a boy or a girl.  I want her to have a girl because we already have too many stupid boys.  It think she would be a lot happier if she had her own baby.  I would feel jealous if she had a baby because when the baby grows up, then she or he would brag that she or he has a birthmom here in his or her mom's arms.  That's who I would give a wish to.  My mom would thank me if I was a wish master.  I love my mom SOOOO much even if she's mad at me.  Love:  Irina Boyd  

This paper was dated 3/19/09.  I had forgotten completely about it.  How self-less of my child for her wish to be for someone else.  She did not wish for stuff or anything for herself.  She wanted me to have a baby.  Yet, I see now in this paper why we do not have any children biologically.  If we did, the sentiments are here that she would be jealous.  I think with all of them being adopted, they feel loved the same way.  I would hope they'd feel that way even if we did have a biological child. I hear many families w/ both bio & adopted children everyday.  However, I think b/c of my kids' mental disabilities, they see things in a different light.  Being that all of them are adopted, it is a little less complicated for them all.  Hope that made sense.  Right now, my older kids get a lot of "what happened to your "real mom " in school type of stuff.  They are learning how to handle that.  Irina is our oldest and quite a compassionate person.  I think this wish demonstrates that completely.  

My kids are always a part of the adoption process.  This time is no exception.  They are slowly learning about Bulgaria.  Later, I will introduce basic language.  It helps them to mesh w/ new sibs when they know a few words.  They all know where Bulgaria is on a map and how near or far it is to their country of birth.  I like them to learn a little about each country we've adopted from.  IRina has longed to know her birthmother or at least a little more about her.  Irina was abandoned at the hospital w/ false names given.  There is no way of ever finding her family & we've made this very clear to her.  It does not take away the desire to wish that she knew her.  I think that is where some of hte jealously comes in to play in this letter regarding a birth sibling(if I ever gave birth).  I wish I could give her the gift of at least knowing something about her birhtmother.  But I can't.  All I can do is love her and show her that I am her "real mom."  I must say, I do like her wish.  I feel that she does love me and we have definitely attached.  She's been home for 10 years now.  Our first adopted.  I can say though, she feels like my "real" daughter for sure.  I think if I have ever had a bio child, my love for my adopted children would remain the same.  I just hope I can make that point clear to my children.  The point being that they are MY chldren whether they are adopted or biological.  It's the same kind of love.  One day, I want Irina to not have the fear of jealousy of a bio sib.  I wnat her to know that my love is here to stay.  I think it is odd though that Irina is for another sibling that is adopted but very hesitant of a bio sib.  I can honestly say I try to understand it all.  I am learning as an adoptive parent and as a parent of teens.  Life is never cut and dry.  And you know what, that is okay.  Alright, the next few posts better get more light hearted.  Too many serious posts lately.  Time for some fun.  Fun post(or at least I hope) coming tomorrow!  Do your adopted kids feel differently around bio sibs?  Just curious.  May be able to apply some new knowledge.  Thanks.

Adoption speed-- long post

You know, this is one of the biggest pet peeves of mine.  The pace of any adoption seems to be in slow motion all the time.  This is the way it has been for ALL of our adoptions and this one is no exception.  though, we knew going into this Bulgaria was a relatively slow process in regards to adoptions.  But, we build patience along the way and this adoption I have the utmost understanding of the process and swore I would not stress about anything thus far and I haven't.  Miracle here.  I promised myself I would not get worked up over anything whatsoever.  Today is a day I have off.  No kids here, totally quiet.  I have already printed out some forms.  Will sit down at lunch with a homemade veggie fajita and fill out forms.  These forms will not have peanut butter on them from the kids as the FBI fingerprints did.  Maybe that's why we haven't gotten them back yet???  Just kidding.  I will fill out these forms w/ gusto.  Though I was hoping to notarize today, that is impossible.  Need both of us there to do that.  So, tomorrow morning it is set to notarize docs.  Send them off to Secretary of State's office for apostilling here in NC.  Mini dossier will be then shipped to agency & onto Bulgaria completed officially.  Then the real work begins w/ the dossier.  The real dossier...the big one. Though, I must say I was pleasantly suprised after I received it.  No big shockers and compared to Russia, not  nearly a stack of paperwork.  AGency said it is b/c Bulgaria is a Hague country and does rely heavily on what is in the homestudy.  I know this b/c I'm still filling out this stupid homestudy.  It is honestly as long as the dossier & totally in depth.  Our hardest part...finding relatives that will reference us. Why?  Because everyone has decided they will in no way support this adoption.   Shoot, my sibs wont' even call me back now.  Well, except for Heather who lives in Moscow.  Crazy, huh?  We will find a way though.  Tons of friends, strangers, neighbors, etc. that will provide reference.  I think it is sad.  It is no secret we've had little to no family support over the years.  I just think they are missing out on a wonderful opportunity to meet some great kids.  I've decided not to call anymore.  They don't read this blog anyhow.  My sister does though.  I appreciate that  more than she'll know.  In adoption, support is a necessity.  It is a difficult process.  So many roadblocks.  You rely heavily on people who suport your decision.  For us, we wish it could be family.  I have heard other families of adoption run into the same problem.  One family I know, their adult daughter gave them a hard time about their decision to adopt.  Why is it when you have a baby it is so different a reaction?  I just don't understand it.  I really don't.  I think me being sick this past week gave me too much time to think.--LOL.  I can't imagine my kids not being here.  Desptie the fact that some days I just want to bury myself in a quiet cave somewhere.  Most of the time, I can enjoy the things we do together.  I've been criticized by extended family & relatives of taking on "someone else's problems."  Um, no.  These are my children, NOT my problems.   They don't understnad why someone would knowingly adopt a child w/ a disability.  You know, I don't know either.  I don't see them as kids w/ disabilities.  I just see them as MY KIDS.  Period.  They would actually fall over if they read half my kids' medicals or even if they were aware of what dx's my children actually have.  The list is extensive.  The kids coming home are no exception.  Two of them have rather what most would consider "severe" diagnosis.  My family & relatives do not know. They don't want to know. They don't care when their brithday is or how old the children are that we are adopting or even what they look like.  They just don't care.  I think it is tragic as I try to create a sense of love for my kids from all people.  If their extended family is not accepting, how can I do this?  HOw can I create a love for all people in this house?  Well, somehow, I think we've done it.  The other day, Alex(one of our RADishes), was sitting on the stairs.  He said "mom, I was scared & crying b/c Irina said you'd have to go to the hospital."  Remember, IRina does not understand most things due to her mental abilities & carries things to an extrememe.  Anyone sick in her eyes, must go to a hospital.  BTW, just a sinus infection.  Alex was truly scared.  He said "good mom.  I'm glad you don't have to go b/c I don't know how I'd live w/out you."  Now, if a child w/ severe RAD can learn to love, I think my families can one day learn to accept my children.  I will not give up.  It's worth fighting for I hope.  Just wish that one day soon it could happen.  A simple "how are things coming w/ the adoption" would suffice.  I'm dreaming.  No questions will ever be asked like this from my parents.  Never.  Doubt they'll even follow our adventure while in Bulgaria....meeting our children.  That's okay.  I have 22 followers already--LOL!  I have received many private emails of support.  Means the world.  People at Warren's work ask how things are coming along. They care.  Neighbors ask when we go for a walk.  The bank tellers ask wehn I make a deposit.  People at the Upwards Basketball ask.  They all care.  If I dare mention about our adoption on the phone to one of my relatives/ extended family, the phone goes silent and I am quickly hit w/ "I have to go."  I have learned to accept this.  Okay, so I'm learning how to accept this.  Guess I just had to vent today.  So, tomorrow when I'm elated for sending something off in the mail, I better hear a way to go from someone, anyone.  B/c I know the family sure as heck won't care. 

What most of you don't know on here is we were presented w/ an infant situation back in August.  (This is what got the whole adoption bug in me again).  Told my mom.  She was sortof okay w/ it.  This baby doesn't have any problems does she?  I did a bad thing.  I lied.  I said no, this baby is perfect.  In my eyes, this baby was indeed perfect.  She most likely was going to have CP but to me, that was not a big issue.  So, it was there... a little... the support.  But in late November when we actually officially decided to adopt from Bulgaria(though didn't know which kids at the time), the tone, mood was awful.  Is it b/c of our kids being older kids?  Is it b/c all our kids have some disabilities?  I don't know. 

Alright, enough of the downer of a post.  Done w/ this one.  I guess I needed to vent more than I realized.  Again, thanks for all the support.  As you can see, it is needed.  This post was originally intended to be about the turtle slow pace of adoptions.  Some wait years for their adoptions to be finalized.  Irina & Max we signed on in January and were home in June.  Just 6 months from start to finish. But that was back in '99.  Alot less red tape.  In 2004, we startedin August for Yana and Alex & came home in May.  10 months from start to finish.  Bojan was in 2005.  We signed on in August and got him in January.  6 months from start to finish.  Though we could have travelled in November.  2006 was Alyona and Nik.  Signed on in April.  Brought them home in November.  8 months from start to finish.  When you think about it, all but one was shorter than a typical pregnancy.  For the Bulgarian adoptions, we officially started in December.  I have no idea how long it will be.  I long to make that first trip close to summer time.  I am doing all I can do to make it happen, that's for sure.  Still, it seems as though time in regards to adoption stands still almost.  Little progress each and every day but then one day BAM, it will hit you.  You have to book tickets.  YOu're ready to meet your children .  Iknow I'll get to share that day on here too.  For now, I love reading other people's journeys to Bulgaria and watch their lives be transformed. 

Meantime, I fill in the gaps w/ normal happenings around the house here.  The good and the bad of it all.  Yesterday, we all went shopping for our monthly grocery supply.  Well, actually, only Alex and Warren and I went to Sam's.  The rest stayed home(upon request) and cleaned up the house.  We also went to TJ Maxx for some deals.  Found books for the kids for .30 or .50 a piece.  YOu can't do too much better than that for new books.  Also, got them a Smart Lab game.  Smart Lab has such wonderful leanring tools.  Love it & so do the kids.  YOu'll have to check them out one day.  CAme home and made allt he kids get in the car.  WE decided to take thm out to Pizza Inn.  They enjoyed it quite a bit. Then, went to Big Lots for our monthly bread supply.  While there, kids were looking at books.  Bojan found an inspirational book called Up & Running.  The child had 2 prosthetic legs on the cover so all the kids begged for the book of course.  We caved and bought it.  typically, we don't do impulse buys or the kids wil think it will happen all the time.  But, we really encourage reading so if they will read it, we're willing to buy it.  And sure enough, they have all been taking turns actually reading it and not just looking at the pictures.  I was amazed.  Going to try to find more books that relate to them.  I think there is one out written by a young adult w/ FAS.  Anyhow, while at Pizza Inn, we were discussing what all we want to do this year as far as adventures go.  You know, b/c adopting 3 more kids just isn't enough of an adventure--LOL.  We plan to do the camping thing in March or April most likely.  We're going to the zoo in May and Deaf Camp in the mountains in May.  We're going to some museums as well locally in April.  Other than that, trying to think of what we'll do in spring.  June is the adoption reunion in DC.  If anyone wants us to visit, we must know very soon as we need to plan ahead.  We alsoonly live an hour and 20 minutes from the beach.  So, we have a few beach trips planned in there.  We are trying not to spend money due to the adoption so trying to do some things that won't cost so much.  Ideas, send them my way.  We fortunately have many free events locally & it helps a great deal.  Right now, lots of planning going on.  Plus, we want to be flexible as you never know when you'll get that adoption travel call.  I SO wish the kids could be home soon but again, learning patience w/ the speed(or lack there of) of adoption.  Next post needs to be mroe upbeat, don't you think??