Sunday, January 29, 2012

8 weeks home!

Can you believe they've been home 8 weeks now?!  I can't.  Feels like they've been here forever.  It has been night and day since we picked them up.  Keep in mind, these results are NOT typical.  Or, at least they haven't been for us in the past.  I said in the beginning I thought it would take at least 6 to 8 months to adjust this bunch.  Nope.  Happy to report I was totally off base with that one.  I'll try to give a brief update on the 3 home.

We'll start w/ Reni.  No rhyme or reason why.  Just thought I should.  In Bulgaria, Reni had an alliance w/ her brother.  Yes, I'm using the word alliance just like in Survivor.  LOL.  Shoot, that's the way I felt w/ the three of them.  And I knew we had to Outwit, Outlast and Outplay these three in order to get home.  I kid you not.  It was a wild ride & no coaster in the world could compete w/ it.  Back to Reni.  She was w/ Logan on everything.  It was becoming an us against them mentality while there.  We separated them whenever possible.  Reni was also very whiny.  Ask my kids that have been home for years on end just how I feel about whiny kids.  Don't take to that too well.  She is no longer whiny.  Sometimes but normal whine.

Reni wet the bed when first home.  We were told she has urological problems.  I have not gotten that checked out.  Let me tell you why.  I had a feeling she had more psychological stuff going on.  Turns out, we were right.  Reni was very, very fearful when we first brought her home.  Very is an understatement.  If someone raised their voice, she would shake.  Anyone reached for something near her she would literally duck to her knees and shake her hand no, no.  A few have seen her behavior first hand and all have shutter to think what transpired to get her this way.  Anyhow, back to the story.  Bed wetting.  Happened at first in the beginning a bit.  Then, noticed nothing.  See, in the beginning, Reni even begged to wear diapers to bed.  Apparently, that is what she did there.  Mind you, she is 9yo.  I told her she was fine and gave her underwear at night.  She was extremely nervous to wear underwear to bed b/c she never had before.  Well, you all know Reni is learning English like a sponge.  She is starting to speak out more.  The other night her and Logan explained that bigger kids would come in and slap them in bed.  On the face is what I'm being told.  I then connect the two.  Reni has been afraid in her own bed!  Since after that first week here, she has not wet the bed.  Not once.  I truly feel it was fear in her.  Now, that fear has been removed.  She is safe here, no doubt.  Okay, so maybe her and Alyona will get into it but it's different.

Reni is healthy.  No issues.  She can see again w/ her glasses.  That was a huge deal.  Other than glasses, nothing needed.  All is normal.  She is delayed but not by much.  Reni has been very fast at English.  She does her chores.  Is fine w/ bonding.  Has no problem ratting on her brother.  LOL.  She fits in perfect.  Only issue we have is she is just a Cindy Brady when it comes to tattling.  Drives me bonkers.  But if that is all we're dealing with after 8 weeks home, I'll take it.  The progress she has made is just staggering.  It really is.  She does not duck and cover any more.  Still flinches but not nearly as much.  Reni has slowly indicated various punishments and things that have happened to her in the past.  Those of you contemplating bringing an older child home and thinking they don't need you as much...wrong!  They need you more.  Reni is safe and very much at home w/ her family.

Logan.  Logan is showing no signs of seizures right now. It is his first week of tapering his epilepsy meds.  This is great news.  Logan is also healthy.  Colorblind but other than that, no biggie.  Logan's biggest issue has to him not wanting to let go of his previous life.  This is to be expected for he's 11.  Yana was the same way at 8.5yo.  What Logan is having to deal w / now though is that he is being knocked off his totem pole.  Yep, natural pecking order came into play once home.  He no longer could be the bully as he had older brothers that were much bigger & stronger than him.  And they let him know it.  No, they didn't beat him to a pulp.  But, if he threw their stuff or threw things at them or tried to hit them, Max & Bojan were not just going to sit by and let it happen.  Plus, I gave them strict instructions of what they could and couldn't do as I knew this was going to happen.  So, Logan was quickly learning boundaries.  And that's a good thing. 

Logan is still not learning English as fast as Reni.  However, that is due to pure defiance in the first few weeks.  He was waiting for some opportunity to speak Bulgarian.  Yeh, not happening.  Not bilingual and we've found in the past easiest way to transition the new kids foreign born is to immerse them in language.  Reni, is even getting frustrated w/ him as of late.  So, I've noticed he's started to try a little harder.  He'll get there. 

Logan & Alex are buddies.  And, trouble makers at times.  Both are learning that one.  LOL.  Logan is also close to Nik which surprised me.  Logan eats great.  No complaints in that department.  Right now, just working on the bed issue at night.  Just like Reni, told there were urological issues.  Again, I'm doubting this one so trying to nip it in the bud as I've done in the past w/ some of my other kids.  For those new, bathroom issues are a sign of power struggles.  It is not uncommon in kids first coming home.  You just have to muddle through it and they have to learn it's not acceptable.  It's a process as is everything else in adoption.  Over all, Logan is doing pretty well.  Still stubborn but so are some of my other boys.  The "bad boy" image though is fading fast and I love that part.

Lastly, we have Ms. Summer.  Mommy's baby girl.  Yes, she's my baby girl and I still consider Nik my baby boy.  Though he'll tell me he's big and Summer's my baby now.  LOL.  Summer is doing well.  She has totally come out of her shell.  And, for the first time at home school academy, she stayed in the classroom w/ out crying for me!  That's huge.  Summer is very attached to us for sure.  Yet, she loves the attention from others too.  She has found balance.  Summer is delayed.  She recently had an OT and PT eval and qualifies for both.  Get the results of it soon.  Going to get her speech eval set up soon as well.  Now, Summer takes lots of repetition to learn things as she is missing a key component of her brain.  A communication device so to speak.  So, she has pretty much been parroting everything we say.  Doesn't know how to use much.  Summer says thank you for everything.  Well, the other day I told her to go upstairs and put her pajamas on.  Said it sternly as she wasn't listening.  She turned to me from the top of the stairs and yells "okay mom!"  I didn't know whether to yell at her for the sarcasm or rejoice that she put two words together and knew what they meant.  So much progress!  In a few months, I'm hoping I'll be telling her to be quiet.  LOL.  Summer is still falling but doesn't seem as frequent to me.  Hoping I just haven't gotten accustomed to it.  Summer has made leaps and bounds since day one.  Remember her terror of the bath?  Now, can't get her out.  Can only imagine a summer in the pool.  Summer is not interested in any tv.  Well, I take that back.  She seems to sit still for the Backyardigans.  Summer loves to try to keep up w/ her brothers and sisters.  She is adored by all.  She gives the best kisses.  I won't let you go till you kiss both her cheeks.  Summer wants to sign and tries to use it.  We'll continue this with her for sure. She is just such a sweetheart.  I know it is uncertain what the future holds for her but given the strides made in the last few weeks, I'd say the future is bright.  We'll be going to a few more specialists to figure a few more things out and check on some things given her dx.  Other than that, not much going on with her.  She is such a delight to have around.  We have given up for now on potty training.  We try every once in awhile and are quickly reminded, she's not ready yet.  I'm told many of the children w/ ACC are late trainers.  Wasn't prepared for that part. 

Well, wrote this two weeks ago.  LOL.  All in all, they're doing fantastic being given their short time in the country.  The other kids are meshing fairly well too.  Nik is no longer jealous at all.  He was in the beginning a tiny bit but it was short-lived.  He's learned quickly he can get Summer to go along w/ stuff that his others sibs will not do.  Reni has fit right in w/ the girls.  Logan is fitting in but older two boys will take some time adjusting.  Mostly, it's b/c they want their own room and are tired of him touching their stuff.  Working on that solution.  I remind them that everything is new for him & he's simply exploring but they're not buying it.  And, that's okay.  It's part of the adjustment process.  And, we're all adjusting pretty well as a family of 12 being home only a couple of weeks now.  I know in a few months it will look even better.  Thankfully, we are not dealing w/ any RAD issues.  We're doing so well, travel will be in our future as well as selling our home.  As if getting 3 new dogs (2 of those were puppies) and 3 new kids in a year's time was not enough, we plan on moving this year and traveling as well.  More on that soon.  Trying to catch up on old drafts and things. 


  1. Hi Stephanie ~ How is your knee? Must be better, as you haven't mentioned it. I want to address the bedwetting issue. Please try to be open to it NOT being a power struggle. MOST children have a family history of enuresis. Sounds like thats possible with the sibs. Ask your pediatrician about it. I did it until I was 15/16 years old. Every cousin on my Dads side were bedwetters. And, their kids were. I have to say that the thing that I admire most about my Mom, was that she never made a big deal about it. Oh, we tried everything, no drinking after a certain time, a pad that had an alarm if you wet on it. Nothing worked. We finally had a wonderful doctor who explained that it was a sleeping SO deeply and the brain not getting to the "wake up when you need to pee" response. I can guarantee that he will never forget how he's treated in regards to this. My Mom would just have me change my own sheets and let my siblings know that they were to NEVER tease me about it. Buy a mattress cover and an extra bottom sheet. He will outgrow it. I'm glad the kids are all settling in so well!
    Oh, and the EmergenC is for when you start to get symptoms of a cold. Supposedly it helps it not get too bad!