Friday, April 30, 2010

Another Dr appointment

I took Toma to the pediatrician today. He was a bit overwhelmed. (the doctor, not Toma) there are just SO MANY things to be done. I'm not even sure where to start. One step at a time I guess.
The good news is he gained 3 pounds since he has been home.
They took 12, yes that's 12!!!!!, vials of blood. I didn't think he even had that much in him! His cry is pathetic, since he is non verbal, he doesn't have much of a cry either. Big tears though.

Tried to get him to go to the bathroom in a cup, that didn't fly at all!

I got referrals to these doctors to START with:

Ears, Nose and Throat

So that should keep us busy for a while!!

I think the doctor was a bit shocked at his "extreme failure to thrive" he said he is more like a 1-2 yr old. I'm leaning more toward a 2-3 yr old, myself.

I had my camera with and in total brain fog mode, I forgot to take any pictures. I do have to collect both kinds of 'samples' from him for the next 3, fun, fun :)

He has to go back for a TB test on Monday, his mother had that and died. She was on a strong antibiotic when she was pregnant with him and that may have contributed to his many medical conditions.

So, that was my day....

By the way, I am still hoping for more input about the South. Come on people......I'm seriousssssssss here! :)

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Dreaming of the South...

I love the South.

I have been researching places to live in many different southern states.

I really like a place in Tifton, GA

But I would consider many of the southern states, like AL,MS,SC,FL,LA and TN.

I'm looking for advice, I don't know a lot about any of these states...

So, if you live in any of these places, PLEASE tell me what you like/don't like about them :)

I'm tired of the winters here in MN. I need a change!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Please remember to pray for Chrissie ~

I can't get this little girl off my mind. She was adopted from Serbia last year with a serious heart condition, it actually said on her medical records that her heart was 'not compatible with life' .

But boy, is she full of life!

She is a little girl who lives life to the fullest, surrounded by the love of her family, including many adopted siblings.

She was looking forward to her heart surgery so she could get her heart fixed. So she could run and play and swim with out getting tired.

She had surgery on April 19th and it didn't go as planned. The doctor's had to go back in 3 different times that day.

She died.

God brought her back.

She died again.

God brought her back again.

She is not doing well, and is on life support to keep her alive.

It isn't known if her organs suffered or to what extent the damage is from being 'dead' for over 20 minutes the first time and I don't know how long the second time.

When she was adopted, her mother felt God telling her to name her Christyn Joy. Meaning, 'Jesus is on my heart'.

The doctors showed her parents a picture of her heart yesterday, and there was literally a cross, A CROSS on her heart! Christ is on her heart all right.

They are praying for a miracle for their daughter. They need all the prayers they can get. CHRISSIE needs all the prayers she can get...

Please take a moment today to think about this little girl so full of joy and life, and please pray that she is able to make a miraculous recovery and dance again HERE on THIS earth.

A fun day for Artiom

Yesterday our oldest son Shane took Artoma down to my husbands workplace for an adoption trip presentation and a chance for his co- workers to meet Ari.

They had a wonderful time, Ari wandered around meeting everyone, he is not shy at all!

I am hoping perhaps there was at least one 'seed' planted for adoption...

They had a beautiful cake (2 in fact) one got sent home for us...boy were the kids excited about that! :)

And the gifts!!! I didn't expect that at all, and I can't thank them enough...It was so sweet.

He loved opening them, and then playing with the bags and boxes! HA.

His brother, Alex, hasn't taken off a Thomas the Train backpack since he spied Ari opening it, and I don't know if Artoma will ever get that one back :)

It was a wonderful time for him, I'm glad he got to go. I almost didn't let Shane take him, because I get a little 'freaky' about letting the little kids go places w/o me ;)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Chrissie....Please Pray for her...

Her family isn't ready to let her go...yet she has Christ on her heart
and He is calling her home.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

yesterday and today's pictures

Playing in the sink at the eye dr.
the whole gang

trying on glasses, he will need them soon. He wasn't happy at all!

in the dentist chair

yay, we're leaving!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

interesting fact...

In 'my special country', Rich and I are called Yula and Viktor by our friends....

On the court documents we saw Artiom's siblings names, two of them are Yula and Viktor.


The appointments start today...

Artoma has his first appointment today...the dentist.

I know he has about 5 or 6 cavities, but he does NOT like to open his mouth
and will not let me brush his teeth at all. So I don't know what they'll be able to
do today, but hopefully they can come up with a game plan to get those teeth fixed!

Tomorrow he has an eye appointment. He has white spots on one of his eyes, which is
related to the Goldenhar syndrome. But that's all I know about it.

Then I have to make the pediatrician appointment and see just where we should start on
getting this kiddo fixed up. I see a lot of doctor visits in our future :)

by the way...his nickname in the orphanage was Artoma, and he responds well to it, so we tend to call him that. But Rich says it in a thick Italian accent, like 'arr-TOE-maa' which is weird, since he's not Italian, he's from 'my special country'....

The appointment didn't go well. He wouldn't let them look in his mouth. He would pucker up his lips like a monkey, which he does for a kiss :)

They suggested we take him to the internation adoption clinic and see what they suggest.

But I did get a couple of cute pictures which I will post ,when I find that darn cord......

Sunday, April 18, 2010

I can't get them off my mind...

I knew when we got home I wouldn't be able to go on with life and not feel this fierce drive to help the oprhans find families, to be loved and cared for. But I at least thought there would be a 'reasonable' amount of time before my heart would be longing for another one here in our family.

It hasn't been a 'reasonable' amount of time.

I can't forget those faces. I see how much love our Ari has to share and how much he needs us. I mean he REALLY needs us. He is such an innocent little piece of love.

So, yes, I want more. I want to go back. I already know who....although I would gladly take any of them.

The question is HOW? The cost is astronomical. It's insane. There are no two ways around it.

But it's a LIFE we're talking about. There HAS to be ways.....

I don't understand why it has to cost so much, but buying someones life, their freedom, isn't cheap.

I'm praying that God show's us a way, because I CAN'T forget them.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

these go with the LONG story below

Our night at Rambo's....

O.k, so I haven't posted about this yet because it's been a bit hectic around here...and the pictures are on another computer downstairs in what I call the 'teen cave' and I don't like to go down there because it's kind of scary... But anyway, I can' t find the cord for my camera to download the pics of 'my special country', so we have to do it downstairs on the extra computer that has the pics already on it...So I'll post the story about that night, then I'll go downstairs and post the pictures that go with it.

Alexander came to pick us up and take us to Maryuka around 4 pm. Maryuka is the little country town that Alexander has a home at, and his next door neighbor is the 'other' Alexander, whom I call Rambo. I call him that because he is burly and tough and was a soldier in the Russian military until he was wounded in many places, that he DID show to me, BOTH times we visited him :)
Rambo speaks some English, so he LOVED talking with us. In fact, he wanted to be the ONLY one doing the talking...any time someone else would start talking he would say "stop it, stop it, stop it" then he would start talking again.

So anyway, on our way out to his house we had to stop several places with 'our' Alexander looking for some fish for supper. The little road side stands were all out, so we had to drive to some kind of outdoor market that still had some left. Alexander picked it out and some seasonings for it too.
The drive there was SO beautiful. We were there on our first trip, but it was in the middle of winter and not so pretty then. I LOVE the countryside, so this was a little peice of heaven for me.
When we turn down the road they live on we see Rambo sitting in the road waiting for us :) He was so excited to see us again and hugged us and said "my friends, my friends". We followed him up to his house, avoiding that mean dog again, who was choking himself on the chain as he tried to reach us. He showed us around his little farm, remember last time it was WAY too cold to stay outside long, so we didn't really see much. He had geese, chickens, dogs,cats,pheasants, and probably some other critters we didn't see.
His 13 yr old daughter and her friend were trying to sneak glances at us and snickering...they were very shy around 'Americans' and didn't want to come near us.
He called them over and introduced us, along with his wife, who was also not too keen on being around us :) I gave them some pop rocks and they went behind one of the sheds to see what they were, too bad, cause I would have like to have seen their faces when they tried them :)

Anyway, then Rambo told us he had a friend coming with a horse for us to ride....
Hmmm...I'm up for a lot of things, but I haven't ridden a horse in 20 yrs! But we'll see. Rambo said, 'lets go walk down the road and see if he's coming' so we all go walking down the road. A guy rides by on a bike and does the 'knuckle' thing to Rambo like they are friends. So, I said "is that your friend?" He shook his head and said NO.
We kept walking and soon someone comes out of their house and says something to him...he answers back like they are friends, so I say "is that your friend?" he shook his head and said NO again :) I'm starting to see a pattern here.... Then a car came rumbling by very fast with dust flying and I said "Alexander, your going to get run over" and he smiled and said 'NO PROBLEM, the dog before come out and get run right over, and NO PROBLEM, dog is fine" So apparently even the dogs are tough there :)

Then we heard clip clopping coming down the road. Around the corner comes this shaggy looking horse with this really big, grumpy looking guy driving an ancient looking wooden cart. Our ride. I was just glad I didn't have to get ON the horse.
The guy looked intimidating, I said something to him and he just shook his head, no English, and no smile either.
His name is Ivan and he is going to take us on a ride around Maryuka. Rambo gets out a 2x6 board for us to sit on in the back of the cart and says to climb in. There was no lady like way to do that, so I just did my best not to fall off as I climbed up. Rambo and Ivan were on the small board right in front of us. Off we went down the little dirt roads of Maryuka, where little old fashioned homes lined the roads, all with dogs chained up barking at us. People were coming out of their homes and waving at us, keep in mind this is a very small country town and I think word got around that the Americans were coming back :) So we kept clopping along waving, and trying to hang on, as our peice of wood was moving around. Rambo's dogs were following us in the dust. I tell you I felt like Princess Diana waving to her people! OK, maybe her long lost...very distant..second cousin...or something like that on my little wooden cart with the scruffy horse! ha ha ha. But still the same feeling, I'm sure ;)

We went to a beautiful church out in the middle of no where. It was unbelievably beautiful for the area. We went inside and took some photo's, the care takers weren't thrilled about us being in there, so we kept that part short. Then Rambo took us out back to the cemetary. It was huge, and well taken care of. He showed us the graves of his relatives, most all had treats like cookies and candy on them. And most all had nice pictures of the people on the grave stones. I was sort of surprised by that.

Then it was time to go, because 'our' Alexander was back at the house cooking us supper. As I tried to climb back in the cart, the horse got a little antsy...I almost fell right back out. I just sat down on the piece of wood when the darn horse jumped ahead and I went backwards and my feet went over my head! NOT FLATTERING in the much for the whole Princess Diana thing...
We get the horse calmed down and when Rich stops laughing, he gets in and we go. Then the horse goes over a big rut and BANG the board that both Ivan and Rambo was sitting on BREAKS and they fall down to the floor!!! ON MY FOOT!!!!!!!

Now these are 2 very big men, and my ankle was under them. All I could think was #1 this is HILARIOUS and #2 IT HURTS and #3 and most important, we have COURT in the morning and if I break my ankle what am I going to do????

So Ivan scoots over and sort of sits on the side of the cart. Not Rambo though, he just stays on the floor of the cart talking a mile a minute as usual :) I did get him off my ankle though.

I was starving by the time we got back and Alexander had made a 'unique' combination of foods for us. Although he did put me to work peeling potatoes when we got back :) He put me to shame because he was so much better and faster at peeling than I was.
When it was done we all sat down to fish, mashed potatoes with egg mixed in them, salsa,eggs,and tomatoes. An ODD combination for sure, but I have to say, it was really good!

Then came the home made vodka, made by Galina, Alexanders mother in law. We all toasted to 'love and friendship' as Rambo likes to do. Many times. Let me tell you that boy, can that Ivan drink! Not little shots either, but BIG ones. He would turn a little purple after downing one, but then recover and have another. Our friend Nikola came from down the road, he was our sweet friend we met last time we were there. I was glad to see him.

We talked and laughed and enjoyed the evening for a long time, then Alexander gets up and he and Kola (Nikola) go outside so we all get up and follow. They go to the shed that has one little light on, (it was dark outside) and he plugs in a barber shaver and starts shaving Kola's hair! Now keep in mind that Alexander was the only one NOT drinking the vodka....and HE was the one doing the shaving. We started laughing at Kola, who apparently didn't realize he was getting it shaved right down to the skin. When he reached up and felt it he stood up quick and said ZIRCOLA ZIRCOLA which means mirror...we are all laughing and saying NO ZIRCOLA NO ZIRCOLA. Alexander made him sit back down to try and 'fix'it.
Ivan went in the house and came back out with a tray guessed it, Vodka. You know, you can't be outside for a half hour and NOT have vodka! So he passed it all around, and by this time the whole hair cutting thing was FAR more hilarious than anything else we have ever seen...

I told Alexander to let me try to fix his hair, that I was a professional (no, I am not) So I gave it a shot, but Kola didn't want anyone cutting it anymore, so he wouldn't stay still. When the rest saw I was cutting hair, they all lined up for me to cut theirs too!
I shaved Rambo's hair right down to the skin. Now this is a guy that has hair on the sides and back, but NOT on when I was shaving, a big clump of hair fell off and Ivan, who by the way got WAY more friendly as the night went on (vodka ;)) took the clump of hair and put it on the bald spot! Rambo didn't know and just kept blabbering, I swear he never shut up, but we were all dying laughing so hard with those big clumps of hair on top of his head!!!
This was the funniest night of my life. It was crazy. Yet so darn funny.
We all went in the house after a while when we couldn't laugh anymore. Kola didn't though, he got mad about his hair and walked home.
Before we left Rich asked Rambo if he had a 'water closet' which Rambo just smiled and pointed to the road. He wasn't kidding either.
We didn't get back to our hotel till 12:30 in the morning and we had court the next morning! But that was a night I wouldn't trade for anything.
I miss my friends.

Mighty dog and our pals

Gotcha Day! Leaving the orphanage for the last time..

sweet boy at home...

this was one happy little girl...Taya

sorry this is on here twice!

more Taya

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

this is Taya,she is adorable and really needs a family

I have more of Taya I will post tomorrow...

Can you say 'Angel'???

Little Alina is at the same orphanage as
Brady, below, they could be adopted together!

I mean, look at this face! She is adorable.

Look at this sweetie!

This little doll is named Brady and he lives in
Eastern Europe in an orphanage. He is going to
be transferred soon to an institution. He is 5 yrs old.

Oh, how I wish he could be mine.....

Monday, April 12, 2010

soy milk and sand boxes

I started putting soy powdered milk in his baby cereal. He has been having really bad diapers and I know he needs all the vitamens and minerals he can get, so we're giving this a try.
He ate his supper all by himself tonight. He is so darn cute, whenever he see's his bowl of cereal coming he gets the biggest smile. and periodically while he's eating he just stops and SMILES so big. He's my happy boy. Really, he couldn't be easier or sweeter. I can't believe how lucky we are to have him.
He could play in the sand box all day if I let him. He just loves it. At the orphanage, on the next to the last day he was there, I had him out playing in the sand/dirt. That is a big no-no. And I sure found that out! A doctor came walking by and saw it and quickly came over and sat him up and wiped him off, he was crying and trying to get away from wasn't pretty.
So now he just can't believe he can sit all day in the dirt and play and nobody yells at him :)

Then to top it off he gets to come in and have a bath, which is his other favorite thing to life is gooooood.

He's not really afraid of his crib tent anymore, and is just laying in there right now looking at a book. If I had known how great those things are I would have gotten one years ago!

Now we have to work on getting him to eat more foods, DRINK, and start making doctor appointments. The dr appt part is somewhat overwhelming for me, but we'll take it one step at at time :)

I still can't find the cord that goes from the camera to the computer, but when I do, I will post lots of pictures of him!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

One week ...

We have had our little angel for a week now, and boy is he a sweetie!
He gets up way earlier than we are used to though, so that will take some getting used to :)
I have to get a crib tent for him because he crawls out all the time, and we have a lot of stairs and he doesn't have any concept of danger.
Plus, he plays in the toilet!
He is facinated with water. He would sit in the bath all day if I let him.
I give him a bowl of water on the deck and he plays and plays. He is very easy.
He only wants to eat his mush though, and yogurt. Nothing else.
No drinking either, just the fluid in the mush. So we really need to get him to drink more.
He played in the sand box ALL afternoon today with the other kids. Man, does he love the sand box.
He is very good natured. And sweet. We hug him and he pulls us close and tilts his head over so we can blow on his neck, he loves that! He laughs, and makes sounds, but is non verbal.
He is not potty trained. No surprise there, although they said he was.
He is facinated with my hair dryer. And anything with wheels on it.
He loves to be twirled around. I got a johnny jump up and he loves that too.
He really likes to just sit out on the deck in the sun, it's something he didn't get enough of before.

I WILL post pics as soon as I get my husband or son to download them from my camara. I don't know how to do that...I know...I know.. I should learn these things...but I'm busy and frankly I don't like computer things very much :)

Happy weekend to you all!

Friday, April 9, 2010

I LOVE'..'my special country'

Seriously. I have always said this. It's a beautiful country and I have such wonderful friends that live there. They have shown us such warmth and hospitality. I could live there. I can't wait to go back.

I would never 'diss' the country or the people. We have kept our sons name out of respect for his heritage. Yet having experienced certain things while in country, it's a fine line what you share. I have had people say they are thinking about adopting from there, but want to know if the need is really that great. So here is the fine line.
I have deleted my previous post touching on the need. It was brought to my attention that this could jeopordize future adoptions, and I would also advise any of you who put it on your own blog to delete it as well.
Yes, it's incredibly important for people to know the need, but what is MOST important is that as many children as possible come home to families. And I have to leave it at that. I certainly don't want to have a negative light cast upon foreign adoptions for any reason at all....

Thursday, April 8, 2010

more 'my special country' pictures

orphanage yard above
the BEST pizza I have ever had!

outdoor market friend

This is Yaroslava, our new friend. She spoke English and helped
me get good deals at the market. She was so nice.

waiting for that yummy pizza

"My special country' pictures

Alexander's home in Maryuka, the countryside.
yes, he really cut our supper with an ax!

flowers at the market for Easter, they put them on graves
after Easter

Rich and Alexander under the Maryuka sign, in the country.

outdoor market

"MY special country" pictures