Friday, November 16, 2012

Merry Christmas Early Max & Bojan!

Okay, so we have decided to do group gifts this year for the kids' new rooms.  You know, when we rearrange them around.  This whole process of the changing of the rooms starts next week.  Yeh, no rest here on Thanksgiving that's for sure.  So, I am Christmas shopping for group gifts for the rooms.  As you all know, all the kids have needed new mattresses for quite some time.  Just something you really try not to buy used if you can help it.  :)  (well, unless you know who it's coming from).  So, that brings us to early Christmas for two of our kids. 

These arrived today via UPS as they were too big for Santa's sleigh and the load would be too heavy Christmas Eve.  Not to mention w/ the changing of the rooms, there is NO place to hide it.  I've already got the rv as a stashing ground but think they're catching on.  LOL.

Max was SO ready to get that old bed out of the way that he went right to work even if still in the old room.

It really is cool all the positions it can go in.  Here he was putting on the legs.

our resident handyman at work.  We can't put up Bojan's till they are in the new room as Bojan's current bed is part of Nik's bunk.  

Reni and Alyona testing out Max's new futon bed.  They approve.  

Max approves of it too!.  He and Bojan got one each.  The new room is being painted grey.  Black and red accents and an industrial look.  

Yeh, he'll hate me for this one but that's what happens when you fall asleep.  You're fair game for pictures.  We also found a rocking/ bean bag chair off Craigslist to complete the room look.  ALL the kids want one now as apparently it is one of the most comfortable chairs we've ever owned.  I'll have to one day take a shot w/ no one in it.  This too will go in their new room.  (which is currently the younger girls room and very, very pink.)

Santa also made another delivery to Max and Bojan.  This one was attached w/ a note explaining that the sleigh just could not fit a pool table. (not to mention Craigslist people don't wait.  LOL).  Don't worry though, Max & Bojan were very happy to accept this early gift.  Summer is tryign to figure out this game.

 As you can see, currently in the girls' room which next week becomes Max and Bojan's room.  This is not where the table will stay.  It must be moved to another part of the room that currently has the girls' bunks in it.  Lost yet?  LOL. 

Yep, she's a shark.  We shortened the sticks for obvious reasons.  You know, like the window behind her.

Alex helping Summer to shoot.  Nik is a regular.  I think this will be used by way more than Max and Bojan.

Speech therapist even had her session up here.  Actually, we were getting Nik to interact and it was working!  

So, Christmas is pretty much done for the 2 oldest boys and they are very much understanding all they'll get Christmas Day is a stocking.  They really LOVE the gifts they received and are very appreciative Christmas came early.  Also, beyond happy that next week they will be in a room to themselves (Max and Bojan) and not have to share w/ the younger brothers who sometimes can be a thorn in their sides.  There was just WAY too much testosterone for one room.  Bonus room or not, not big enough to contain the "maleness" in there.  So, next week lots of painting going on.  We also hvae a friend coming to measure for the younger boys built-in beds next week.  IF we can do it for the same price or cheaper than new beds (b/c they are such need of new ones), then we will be doing built-ins.  Having built-ins truly would give them optimal space.  We are for sure doing built-ins for the girls' new room.  

So, how many of you think we can go to Great Wolf Lodge, paint the bonus room, move the boys all around, put up the fence all in ONE week???  We are going for it!  We already told the kids next week is a work week for us.  They do understand and all really, really want to help b/c it means more room and a bit more freedom for everyone.  We'll take it!  If anyone comes by next week, after Tuesday, and asks to help, to be sure we're not turning you down. 

Tomorrow we'll be helping out at the church for a few hours to help serve meals to the community.  I know they think we abandoned services there.  Just consider it a few month hiatus.  I know, that's horrible.  We went to VBS, volunteered all day at a fundraiser, helped out w/ Thanksgiving(tomorrow), went to some of the church clubs but haven't been to service in so long. We truly want to go back.  We miss it.  We do.  So, going next week.  Can't go this Sunday as we're leaving.  Hoping they'll invite us back!  We miss the familiar faces so much.  

Anyhow, going to church to help out for a few hours, hauling off trash, picking up a Craigslist item, packing, making a few meals for the trip, cleaning house, etc.  Hope you all have a relaxing weekend and enjoy it.  I'm sure we will! 

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Transformation #2-- Reni

Simply amazing is all I can say about this one.  From hurt to healed.  All in a year's time.  I know I still owe you a medical post but it is really long right now. I'll get it done at some point.  This is all about Reni.  We adopted her at 9yo.  Met her and she seemed shy but no big red flags.  That was the first meeting.  They did tell us she peed the bed at night and still wore diapers.  Really?  At 9yo?  Thought that was a bit fishy but went with it.  Said she was mentally retarded (their words) and very slow.  She didn't have glasses on when we met her and we asked them to let us buy them for her while there.  No.  She'll be fine.  It was critical for her to have glasses b/c she could have lost all sight in that eye.  We know, we have another daughter w/ her condition.  Hence, our concern.  Plus, you could tell the poor child had no depth perception.  We climbed up the mountain and held onto her for dear life.  Trust me OSHA would not have approved of this climb.  She was mis-stepping everywhere.  No judgement of perception whatsoever.  It really was sad.

Notice the steps?  Not the flatest and all were different sizes.  Hard for Reni who couldn't see and had no perception.  We were in Madara.  We went to the very top of the mountain.  Notice that flimsy rail?  It was that way even when there were drop offs at the top!  

She had so much trouble trying to navigate and held onto me for dear life most the time.  

This was after our hike.  BTW, none of us knew we were going on said hike!   Notice Reni's face?  Just a dot appears on the picture but it is an indentation and quite visible when closer.  We asked what happened.  She got stoned by another boy at the orphanage.  He kept beating her in the face w/ a rock and most like fragments were stuck in there.  We had her checked out by a plastic surgeon once home.  Nothing is left in the wound.  But it IS a daily reminder of what happened to her.  When she's a teenager, they can do a little more fixing to it if she'd like.  She's already agreed she wants it done.  I don't blame her.  Her scars run deep.

Anyhow, pickup trip was okay.  At the apartment Reni had her moments.  But, for the most part she was fine.  One thing we noticed right off the bat was Logan would beat the crap out of her all the time.  Just mean.  Obviously, we'd stop it as soon as it would start but this poor child was even a prisoner to her brother.  I kept letting Logan talk the talk but kept reassuring Reni that her older sisters would take care of it when we got home.  That would tick Logan off & he didn't believe it.  See, even our translator and driver told us boys don't listen to women here!  Yep, he sure did.  Warren gave me the look like boy is this child ever in for a rude awakening when he gets home.  LOL.

Her emotions were starting to show.  She's has Summer's shirt and slippers on for whatever reason.  And Summer's pants!  Her face tells her sadness.  Not sure if this was taken after one of Logan's hitting episodes of her or not.  Which brings me to  a whole other story.  One day in the apartment, I went to reach over Reni's head in the kitchen to get something.  She quickly ducked and covered and shook her hand back and forth.  No, no.  My heart sank.  Who had beaten this child?  Why?  She's not a bad kid.  Not that that would justify it but maybe I could understand it more.  Not sure.   All I knew was this child had been hurt before physically and badly.  

We got and home and Reni was sullen.  Understandable.  She'd left everything behind and to her common comfort things were everything.  But, this was her life and we were going to make it happen.  I won't go through the whole year.  Medically, she was fine.  Needed glasses and those make a world of difference.  Put her in soccer.  Logan was mad at that b/c in Bulgaria, the girls were NOT allowed to play on teams.  He told me girls can't play soccer.  I said your sisters can!  He huffed and puffed.  Boy oh boy did this ever wake up Reni!  Out of her shell she came running.  Shy, hidden one no more.  She was on the field to prove something.  You could tell.  Girls can play soccer too.  Loved it.  

There was some type of release in soccer for her.  She could express herself.  And, she was pretty good.  I know, my kids really do need new soccer gear.  Working on finding some.  She doesn't care about that stuff though.  It's all about being part of a team.  Being wanted, needed.  She made friends pretty quickly.  

Reni came home and wet the bed for about 2 weeks every night.  I learned later why.  See, at her orphanage the older boys would come in and randomly beat whoever at night.  Reni was a target here and there.  So, scared to sleep.  Once home and KNEW no one would ever beat her again, I think  her small body finally relaxed for once in her life.  Yelling used to make her shudder and shake.  Look on her face would be sheer terror.  Now, I have to scream ten times as loud to get her to move.  Geez.  She laughs more, has fun more, is very outgoing now, loves soccer, adores having sisters though admits they can be a pain.  Or as she puts it "they pain in the butt, mom."  She is no longer afraid to speak her mind.  She now knows girls can do anything.  Reni & Logan's mouth dropped open the first time they saw a lady cop.  Reni believes in things now.  

Reni had a hard past.  You can tell.  She remembers many things from the orphanage.  Some are fond memories, some not so much.  Like the times she randomly got beat at night.  Or the times Timor would threaten them with his gun.  Yet, they were too afraid to be shot to tell the director he even had a gun.  So instead they'd put up w/ being hit on the head w/ a gun.  When she came home, she was terrified of the water in regards to swimming.  I knew they'd gone to Varna but didn't know exactly if they could swim.  Everyone MUST know how to swim who lives here.  We have a pool.  Pool opens, we teach them right away.  She was like glue to the older kids and I.  Never thought she'd let go. 

This was one of the first times she swam.  On our way to the Bulgarian Reunion, we stopped at a KOA Campground in WVA.  They had a great lake.  Loved it so much we're going back there next year!  Anyhow, Reni got in and conquered yet another fear.  Amazing the courage this child has.  Yet, doesn't let anyone know.  She is brave beyond words and will go so far in life.

Oh, and that mentally challenged dx, throw that one out the window!  She's delayed but frankly I think it was b/c she couldn't see her work.  Reni is so eager to learn new things.  Loves doing what her older sisters do yet has time to play w/ the younger ones too.  She has already passed Alyona in many areas.  We knew this would happen.  Yet, I also know when Reni is older she'll be able to help Alyona as well.  So, we have a daughter that no longer shakes, no longer fears everything in sight, can now rest easy at night, is learning at warp speed, is very outgoing, and is truly enjoying this new change in life.  She has stated she wants to visit Bulgaria but has made it very clear this is her home.  This emotionally, shy, hurt child, is hurt no more.  Reni has without a doubt found her voice and her family.  She fits in perfectly.  All I can say is wow, what a difference a year makes. 

A few more shots for good luck.  Reni, eating chocolate cake.  They told her she was allergic to chocolate over there and she couldn't have it.  They've done this to a few of my kids over the years.  Did it to Irina too.  Yes, this is Reni eating chocolate cake to her heart's content.

I know her eyes are closed in this shot but just look at that smile.  We were at a cafe downtown Raleigh to eat pizza.  Thank you Groupon!  Something so simple makes her so happy.

Reni enjoying a ride w/ her big brother.  Experiences this past year have been numerous for her.  I truly think she's embraced them all.  Even the simple things such as riding on a mower w/ her brother.  So, all in all, I'd say Reni's had one heck of a transforming year, don't you?

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Interrupt the transformation story.....

for a brief announcement.  Santa came early to the Chaos Manor today.  A package was delivered to Warren's car at work today.  He brought it home (go w/ the story here), and we gathered the bunch in the living room.  Again, sorry for such blurry pictures.  As we speak, Warren is downstairs fixing my nice camera. 

Everyone waiting to see what was in the box from Santa.  Max is mad b/c he just got in trouble.  Love how Summer and Nik are sitting on the chair?  URGHH!!

Warren, opening the mystery box.  

Everyone waiting for Bojan to read the paper.  For some reason, I can't get that picture to load.  Geez, I want my camera back SO badly.  Warren's trying hard to fix it.  So far, no good.  Sigh.  Back to the story though.

The screams went out once they heard the words 'Great Wolf Lodge.'  Well, except when Reni kept screaming What?!  What?!  We forget they had no idea what it even was.  Don't worry, other kids quickly filled them in.  Then, of course they had to watch it all on You Tube.

Still watching in amazement that they're actually getting to go after all these years of wanting to.  Yes, Santa came early and even wrote them a note that this was a big part of their Christmas present.  Hint to all those wanting to go:  Wait for the Groupon!  

We are going to the Great Wolf Lodge in Concord, NC.  It's roughly 3 hours from here.  Taking the van, not the rv as we're in the lodge.  Been getting tips from folks of things to bring.  We definitely can't afford to eat there from what I've been told.  And that's not just b/c we're frugal.  LOL.  So, kids & I after volunteering at the church on Saturday to feed the community, will come home & make potato soup, homemade pizza, and muffins to take with us.  Still can't believe we get to go.  We leave Sunday.  Wahoo!!!  Just had to share the good news. 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Transformation #1-- Summer

Oh my.  Night and Day.  That is the best I can describe this one.  Oh my.  Where to even begin with this one.  Summer was born in Pleven and spent her first few years at that orphanage.  Even the first video we  have of her in Pleven she was crying.  Just burst into tears.  Not sure why exactly.  They put a marker in her hand and you could easily tell it was the first time she'd seen one of those.  Then, Summer was moved to Kardzhali, a little bit near Turkey.  I thought it strange to send a child that far away however, the same was done to Max in Russia.  Not sure if it's you go to where there is a bed deal or not.  Summer's medical was not all that bad.  It did indeed say she had c-ACC but did not tell of her colpocephaly or severe speech dyspraxia or the severe lagging of development.  I wont' go through every detail of course.  We met her.

Notice her body language.  We could not touch her.  Not hold her, not kiss her, not touch her.  

I zoomed in w/ the camera.  We were on the other side of the room and this was as close as we could get to her.  It was a horrible feeling for us.  We only got to spend 2 days with her and left.  It was probably better that way for her emotional well being anyhow.  She couldn't handle it at all.  

Then, time for the pick up trip which I described just a few posts ago.  Look back a post or two to see the trauma of it all.

Even here, not comfortable.  NOT potty trained at all despite us being told she was totally potty trained.  Umm, no.  She wasn't.  Surprise.  

One night, she finally ran to Warren.

She sobbed for quite some time.  Still would not come to me but it was progress and for that, we were grateful.  

Shoot, had more pics of Summer and I but can't get them to load for whatever reason.  It was the turning point where she finally came to me.  Me!  

We came home and had to slowly peel her apart, emotions and all, like an onion.  One layer on top of another of an onion.  Some of it was just heartbreaking.  Medically, she was better than we actually expected so that was awesome.  Emotionally however, this was a broken child that did not have all that many experiences it seemed.  I'll break it all down and tell you then and now.

When she came home, Raleigh Neurology assessed her at a beginning 2yo level across the board for just about everything.  She was almost 5yo.  Said she qualified for OT, PT, and speech.  We said we'd do nothing until she'd been home 6 months.  We don't rush into anything.  Feel it's first and foremost important for the child to bond w/ the parents. We've done it this way for all our kids b/c most docs want to jump the gun first thing and don't take into account all the changes that have taken place in that child's life.  When Summer first came home, she fell all the time.  And i mean all the time.  She'd fall off  the chair, fall out of the van, fall when walking every few steps.  It's like the child hadn't walked much in her whole life.  And forget running.  So, instead of PE, I opted for Upwards Soccer.  Within a few weeks, she was running.  She had no gross or fine motor skills when she came here.  Did not know how to hold silverware.  Could not cut, could not color, nothing.  Did not know if she was right or left-handed(actually, this is common w/ c-ACC kids).  This list of what Summer could not do could go on forever really. 

Let's talk about what she CAN do now.  Run, walk, eat (oh yeh, just fine), express herself, be sarcastic, cut (speech therapist said she is the best cutter she has!), has all gross and fine motor skills for her age, etc.  Again, this list could go on forever.  So, w/ NO OT and NO PT she got back on track and is on par w/ kids her age for tasks.  Now, speech therapy she did end up needing.  Summer has severe speech dyspraxia and ST told me that doesn't surprise her w/ the c-ACC.  She is progressing though and that's what counts.

Now, some other tidbits.  I will never forget the ride out of the orphanage.  I was told that's the first car she rode in other than the one from Pleven that brought her there.  Don't worry, she has no issues hopping in that van now.  LOL.  Buckles her carseat up and all.  She learned to ride a bike, with training wheels.  So many things to name that she's done. 

Oh, one thing I will never ever ever forget was her sheer terror of water.  I mean I've had kids nervous before but this was different.  This was severe trauma of water.  I even had them call the orphanage to find out how they bathed her.  They said a bath.  I did that, tried a shower, tried getting in w/ her.  You name it, we tried it.  We gave up and decided she could stink till we got home.  Seriously, it sounded like we were skinning an animal alive.  It was horrifying. 

This was after she got the bath.  She was okay once out and loved the novelty of getting her hair dried by daddy.

When we arrived home, (actually, I called from the airport!), I told Alyona I don't care how long you spend in the tub, what toys you put in there but by God make it the best bath ever for Summer!  It worked.  From then on, no fear of water.  Not even in the pool this summer.  She LOVED it.  So going from being terrified to even have it run on you to not wanting to get out of the pool is just awesome.  

That's my girl this summer soak & wet from going on a slip and slide over and over again.  Drenched to the bone and loving it!  Happy as can be.

Now, the water terror was not just limited to the bath.  No.  I will never forget the day she stood almost comatose in the rain at soccer.  Literally didn't move a muscle on the field.  The look on her face is one I'd never seen before.  Scooped her up and tried to break her out of that cycle.  It occurred to me that she had probably never ever felt the rain on her skin.  She was scared.  Now, can't get the turkey out of the stupid rain.  Just today her and Nik were jumping on the the rain.  

Summer's fears are gone.  Gone.  Emotionally, she was unstable when we got her.  Cried at everything.  Terrified of everything.  Those who met her at the Bulgarian Reunion or in person would have never have guessed that this extroverted happy go lucky little girl that always smiling was emotionally shut down when we got her & introverted.  A different child and in a good way.

When we brought her home, she spoke gibberish in Bulgarian.  Now, she speaks English, counts to 8  and knows some sign.  Actually, the sign is helping her learn to speak.  This little girl who wanted nothing to do with me, just kissed me good night, signed I love you, and went to bed.  Yep, Mommy's little Pepper.  That is her name (well, was going to be her name, long story).  So now, it's more a nickname.  Summer can grab anyone w/ her smile.  Knows no stranger but knows who her family is for sure.  Climbs in bed w/ mom and dad some times in the morning.  Is my girlie girl.  LOVES shoes.  That hasn't changed since she left Bulgaria.  She loved shoes there too.  

Summer would not have been able to hold that glass last year nor drink out of that straw too well.  Her eyes would not have had that twinkle in them.  Her head would have been bowed down more.  I know she's drinking here but it says a lot about her.  She loves to try anything now.  There is no fear in her.  She adores her siblings and is right where she is supposed to be.  You can't help but to smile when she smiles.  I can not truly tell you how much love I have for this little girl.  I want to squeeze her every time I see her and never let go.  She was not potty trained when she came here at all.  Now, potty trained during the day but not at night still.  Working on it though.  She has come so, so far.  We truly could not ask for a better transformation in a year's time.  She has just thrived here and continues to amaze us w/ things every single day.  She went from a size 3T to now, a size 6/7!  She has grown like a weed.  Summer is our youngest currently.  She is our full of life, ready for adventure, loves going on the bus (what she calls our rv), loves to swim, loves to play soccer, is not a tomato fan, also not a fan of going to bed, enjoys a story being read to her, and so much more.  It has been so fun watching her blossom this year.  All I can say is Wow.  We LOVE you Summer Grace!  I know folks get scared of some dx's.  What, she's missing part of her brain?!  One relative said well, glad you didn't know that beforehand.  Umm, we did indeed know that beforehand and we still said yes, she's ours.  Think of how much fun we would have missed out on.  How much love she's given us.  I can not believe we got to be her parents.  How lucky can we get?!  I'm sure I've forgotten so many things.  Really, there were too many night and day things to name.  I just tried to highlight some.  If I think of some mroe, I'll let you know.  Just wanted you to see it's night and day after a year.

Today-- a quick bit

Make it quick as homeschoolers are studying Thanksgiving.  Alright, I had my mammogram today.  I'll get the results in a few days.  Should be fine.  At the same time, Max had his ortho follow up.  Great news!  NO surgery.  Wahoo!!!  Surgeon still thinks there has to be a tear somewhere but since the MRA did not show it, no surgery.  However, this now means Max can not lift over his head and can not carry any heavy weight.  A bit of therapy a few times a day.  Great no surgery but his chances now are much higher of something going very wrong.    Time will tell.

Lots going on behind the scenes and I am working on other posts as well.  Can't wait till you hear of the transformations that have taken place over the past year.  Really is amazing.  May take the kids out for pizza for lunch.  Free pizzas from the Book It program. 

Yep, I got sidetracked.  Did end up picking up the pizzas.  Yum.  Nice on a rainy day and great incentive for reading for them.  Well, Max, Bojan and Dad go to pick up the pool table this evening.  It is their Christmas present.  They do realize they are getting this nad the beds & nothing but a stocking for Christmas.  See, I truly can't hide those big items and they both really, really needed new beds.  And, they liked helping pick stuff out.  At 17 & 13 they are past Santa days.  They are going along w/ the note I'm attaching this evening to the pool table though saying it was too big to fit in Santa's sleigh. 

Thanksgiving is next week.  So hard to believe.  Big move around is happening too.  Max & Bojan, two oldest boys, will once again have their own room to share.  One of the bonus rooms.  It's currently pink so painting it gray.  They want an industrial/ game room look so that's what they're getting.  Going to be very cool I think.  Painting during Thanksgiving.  The girls will be moving out.  Don't worry, have it all covered.  They can't wait b/c their new room, which we have to paint and float a floor in, will be a tad bigger I think.  We will be utilizing height and hopefully building some really cool built ins I found on Pinterest.  They'll be room for 4 to 6 girls.  Shh.  LOL.  We tend to have guests and geez, we thought it ridiculous to have so much room when we moved in here w/ 2 kids, in process of getting 2 more.  10 kids later, not ridiculous.  We already have the fence posts up.  Just a few more to go which will be put up the next day or two.  Then, Saturday quite a few panels are going up!  So, definitely getting it all done and to the point we like it.  Time will tell what the future brings.  You just never know.  We've learned not to predict anything.  Just go with the flow. 

More transformation posts, medicals, etc.  once  dinner is done and homeschool.  We'll do one last weather review and onto the solar system tomorrow.  Really spending a lot of time on that as there is so much to cover.  May go to the planetarium if it's not an arm and a leg to go.  More later. 

Monday, November 12, 2012

Last year and heading home

As you know, last year at this time we were in Sofia, Bulgaria picking up our three kids.  It was beyond hard for us during that time.   Not knowing if we'd make it.  Not knowing if what was on the medicals for Logan was true.  Was he losing his mind?  Was the behavior too overpowering for even us to handle?  By that I mean a family that has dealt w/ FAS, RAD, PTSD, ODD, and every other name you can throw out there.  We honestly did not know.  But, we knew we loved them and had to try.  Also, knowing you'd be back on your own turf was hope enough.

I won't say exactly all that we went through as it is in the Nov. 2011 section of the blog.  It started w/ Logan trying to pull his tooth out.

Reni had every right to be ticked off.  We all were.

Bloody molar.  

Smug look, so proud of himself.  See, since the banging of his head on the wall wasn't getting our attention, he thought he should yank his tooth out that was NOT loose.  Crazy.  he was purely just doing it out of spite.  The night before we left.  This was at 2am mind you!  We had to leave at 4am!  URGHH!!!  

I'll spare you the details.  From going spread eagle to the entrance of our first plane refusing to board to Logan kicking the people in front of his seat, I'm not sure what we were going to do.  He was angry b/c we picked out his clothes.  He wanted to change pants.  So what did he do to try to be 'smart?'  Why pee all over himself on the first flight home.  The look on his face was priceless when Warren told him all his clothes were in the suitcase under the plane.  One of the flights the attendant was concerned b/c Warren was restraining him.  So, he let him go.  Flight attendant then agreed Logan needed to be restrained or someone was going to get seriously hurt.  I felt bad for the people that he kept kicking.  Took him to the back of the plane & tried to allow the stewardesses to talk w/ him.  Umm, he cussed at them and gave smug looks.  They kept comforting me!  LOL.  Wishing me good luck w/ him.  Also, after that little meeting they questioned absolutely nothing we did.  Hey, sometimes you just have to let them experience it.  It must look strange at first when Warren is holding Logan's hands together at the wrist.  But, unless you want him to punch someone, kick, trip or the like, it had to be done.   Why we didn't drug him, I'll never know.  By that I mean give him a sedative for the flight home.  But w/ not knowing his history and him at the time being on epilepsy meds, we couldn't risk anything. 

I think the highlight had to be him running away at the Munich Airport.  Sprechen sie Deutsch?  oh wait!  Mom does.  Ha,ha, ha!  Yes, though mom has lost a lot of it, it comes back to you.  I made sure to tell passport control before we went through to not let him back through.  They already asked me if I had my hands full so I guess they could sense it.  Who knows.  Logan bolted.  I told Warren let him go.  Couldn't get past passport control anyhow.  We retrieved him.  What made this worse was there were 2 kids sitting from Ukraine w/ their new family good as gold.  Yes, I was jealous.  Warren took him to the bathroom b/c we dare not let him go alone.  Warren was wondering why it was taking so long.  Logan proceeded to lock ALL the stalls of the bathrooms.  Crawled underneath them ALL.  Yeh, Warren was NOT happy as I'm sure other passengers waiting to use the restroom were also not happy. 

Somehow we survived and arrived stateside.  D.C.  Can I ask that airport now why the heck you have an emergency red button w/ in toddler's reach?!  The guy behind me & myself tackled Summer.  Close was not even enough to describe it.  She would have single handedly shut down the entire airport.  Crisis averted.  Poor Summer.  It's all we could do though.  I can laugh now but then was not a laughing matter.  I won't even get into the insanity that followed w/ 5 people who hadn't slept in literally 2 days.  It was maddening.

I gave up on anyone looking any certain way on this trip.  It was purely survival at this point in time.

Yep, insanity hit on the tarmac when we were just sitting there waiting for them to de-ice.  

Yes, she wore this hat the entire trip.  Her favorite thing.  I know what you're thinking.  My kids look like orphans even after they leave the orphanage.  LOL.  Again, survival, not looks matter.  So rolled up pants that are two sizes too big and a hat it is.  I think they were finally starting to tire. 

 Yeh, nope.  Second wind.  Waiting to get to RDU.  We must have looked awful b/c the couple next to us offered to buy us coffee. 

I was so beat at this point yet Summer was still awake.  How do they do it?!

We made it home.  Yes, it was eventful.  Logan got bit by the dog, hungry (thank goodness for Wendys open late!) screaming every which way from the 3 of them, kids terrified, old kids wanting to tell us everything, chaos any which way you turned, no one tired.  Remember, when we get home from these trips, we not only  have to deal w/ the newbies but all the other things such as PTSD, RAD etc. that happen when we're away.  Over the years though, we've gotten better at the transitions so that helps.  

They were home but it was not home yet.  Not comfortable in their own rooms as you can tell.  

Would the healing ever come?  Was there just too much raw emotion?  Could we ever break through to her?  Time would soon tell.

And Logan.  Was he too far gone?  Was the psychological damage already done to this child?  Could we ever make it better.  That's a fake smile by the way to cover up how he really feels.

We were so shaken,so tired, so broken in the middle of the night when we got home that we did not even know the kids decorated for us.

A sign made by our other kids at home.  Was comforting.

 Next day was a nice fall day.  Clear, refreshing and ready to begin a new life.

For now, we were home and that's all that matter.  We'd made it safely and in one piece.  No one  got lost, hurt, or the like.  Now, it was time for true feelings to be let loose, healing to begin.  I will next write about their medicals b/c I think that is important.  Then, I will tell you how we went from the above to where we are now.  The transformations will astound you.  Why?  Mainly b/c I never told you all that had happened to them prior.  And two, b/c I'm still finding out things everyday that had happened as they gain more English.  It is not for the faint of heart so be prepared.  I told you this would be honest and no holds barred.  If I offend anyone or anyone thinks I'm exaggerating or making this stuff up, I can assure you, you can't make this up.  It happened and I think others need to know that not all adoptions are rosy.  Kids with pasts that are damaged take time to heal.  Some do, some don't.  More on all that later as well. 

Manic Monday

And that it is.  Kids are home from school yet homeschoolers are having school today.  Bojan and Max are working on finishing up the fence posts w/ the auger we borrowed.  Does the trick for sure.  Should have them all finished up today.  Have to call the uloco people but not doing that until later.  Only one part & it takes them about 2 days to come out and mark the lines.  Kids are studying Thanksgiving this week and the history of it.  Neat little bit for sure.  So, doing a quick Manic Monday post so I can get back to work.

  • No school for kids today
  • School for homeschoolers
  • Max's ortho appointment tomorrow
  • Scheduling Max's surgery soon
  • Max is still trying to over do it
  • My mammogram is tomorrow.  Hoping for no lumps this go around.  Those suck!  LOL.  Been a few years since the last ones so hoping for good news this week.
  • Calling uloco people for line marking
  • Calling zoo for mistakes on card admittance
  • Working w/ Max on math
  • Bojan still doing band
  • Max and Bojan have been working on fence posts today
  • Studying Thanksgiving in homeschool this week
  • Ready for our big trip this coming weekend
  • Going to Great Wolf Lodge!!!  Wahoo!!!  Kids still don't know.  Wrapping up a big box and giving it to them Saturday.  We leave Sunday.
  • Just going to be us apparently for Thanksgiving
  • Painting the boys' room over Thanksgiving and moving them in it
  • Girls will temporarily be displaced to another room
  • boys broke the mailbox over the weekend.  It's fixed now
  • house is a mess
  • working on Christmas shopping from home
  • planning a cookies and cocoa at the house in December for friends 
  • trying to take pics of stuff to sell
  • Bought Reni a spare pair of glasses
  • I'm tired today and can 't take a nap w/ everyone home
  • looking forward to my anniversary get away
  • still miss Kota
  • Digby needs a bath
  • RV really needs washing on the outside
  • Max & Bojan are getting an early Christmas gift from Santa.  They KNOW Christmas morning they will just have stocking and nick nak stuff.  There was no way to hide....a pool table!  I let Max and Bojan pick it out (Craigslist).  They both agreed on one & more importantly, me a price.  It will be picked up this week, maybe tomorrow.  Bojan & Max can't wait to hang out w/ friends in their new room, with a pool table.  Made their Christmas.  Phew, 2 down, 8 to go.  LOL.  
  • Max & Bojan also got a new chair for their room as well
  • Love Craigslist
  • Still looking for recipes for dishwasher detergent
  • We have learned to make many products homemade now and love it
  • Working on learning how to make bread.  Need a good recipe
  • Going to finish up more posts soon on the difference a year makes!
More going on but that's the gist of it.  Now, time for me to mail in some rebates and organize other stuff.  Write more posts after dinner I think.  Nice day here to get work done.