Home 6 Weeks!!
Its hard to believe we have been home with the kids 6 weeks already. When we started the process, it seemed like a pipe dream and it would never come true and now they seem a permanent part of our household!
I titled this post progress and rumors. We have had a lot of progress and I will tell you about but wanted to address the rumors. I have had lot of people come up to me and tell me that they heard I got my thyroid removed. I didn't. I think that was a thought in the beginning, but I did not need that. I have had an ultrasound, I-123 thyroid uptake and scan, and a biopsy. All say it is a thyroiditis (a variant of Hashimoto's and fibrosis). With thyroiditis, it has to run its course unlike other thyroid disease which would be treated. I now have to live with the symptoms which may go away in 2-4 or 12-18 months!! I am hoping for the latter. I don't want to be fatigued forever!! I still have to take medicine for the racing heart and am taking something for the emotional lability. I have been nauseated and wretching this whole time and was finally able to eat two days ago and actually have seconds. (Thanks Judy for the yummy scalloped potatoes and ham!!) It has been nice to have so many people from church bring us meals at first when we got home and now when the symptoms just keep hanging on. It has been nice too that we can try all kinds of different things I wouldn't have thought to try. I think the favorite around here is chicken, potatoes, bread/jelly, sweets, fruit - they are loving the fruit and the fruited jello everyone has been bringing!! They really like everything that people have brought. No rejects here!! I think still the only thing they all except one has turned their nose up at is spagetti sauce on spagetti, but they will eat it in a hotdish!!
For progress, we have had so many!!
Dogs: They finally got used to the dogs!! We didn't even have to do anything. They ventured slowly off the deck and petted Teddy and then they got more brave and started petting Buddy and now they play all over the yard and go right up to the dogs and pet them and live a coexistence, although they have a hard time just ignoring the dogs when they want to be ignored. This was a definite answer to prayer!!
Bikes: Vlada learned to ride a bike on Wednesday!!! The bike that they found in the junk pile is what they were using. It works okay, but the chain keeps falling off and it is a little rickety. The most exciting part was when they came in and told me. Most of the time I am watching them through the window and try to do quick things in between and they all came running in shouting mama mama! Even the little ones were jumping up and down that she learned to ride the bike. She can even ride down the hill. Ryan, the vallant big brother who helped hold her up as she learned also learned to ride the next day. I guess this spring we will buying a whole round o family bikes.
Legos: We are even making progress with Legos. At first, they were just to dump out, throw around and pick up. They are now making houses with them and spaceships, etc. The only problem, the don't put them back, they hide them in a drawer when they are finished. The place where they keep their treasures.
"School": We haven't done much with school when I don't have much energy, but we have done a little bit. We are working on a large ABC puzzle and have them say the ABC's when we do it and a we have an erase book for making letters. Otherwise, school is "life" so far, helping set the table learning the words for cups, spoons, plates, and counting the dishes, etc., helping cooking and cleaning up. They are great helpers and love to wash dishes (they fight over this!), vacuuming and helping with firewood - which is a great family "sport." Kam helps Monte with firewood so they are getting to know their big brother through this too - and learning some English when they are out one on one with the guys. (I hope they don't learn any of LeRoy's "English!!") We are doing craft projects and at first the kids don't know what to paint or draw, so they need some ides, but they are really great artists when they get going. One day, I cut out some shapes and they made cats, birds, and houses from the shapes. That was one of the fun projects. The glitter glues are difficult for them to handle and they get frustrated easily.
As far as Enlish: They are starting to copy, but not use too much on their own. Except, I think they have mastered please, thank you, and you're welcome. One day, I caught Vanya making Katya say "peash" before he would give her something she wanted. I guess we are making some progress!
I forgot to mention above about weight gain when I was talking about the food. Most of them have gained 1-2 lbs since we have been here, but Jason has gained 6 lbs!! Remember he was the little sickly looking one when we came home. He now has color in his cheeks and has a ton of energy. And he loves hugging people. (We may have some attachments problems with this, with him hugging indiscriminately, but we are working on that.)
My friends Dan and Mary got a referral for two little girls age 1 and almost 5 from Ethiopia. It is so exciting to have another family built through the miracle of adoptioin. I can't wait to meet them!! We probably will be able to have our own local adoption support group soon!! Please pray for them for the financial aspects of adoption and the "looong" wait until they can bring them home. (Hopefully this summer.)
Katya has had some regression with wetting her pants, wetting the bed at night and crying at night sometimes. It is not a huge concern and I heard regression is common for orphans and we are just loving her through it.
We have three birthdays coming up soon. Jillian is Mar. 26, Ryan April 1, and Jason April 8. I haven't had to do kid birthday parties for a long time, but I think we will keep birthday parties low key this year. (And poor Robin doesn't have her birthday until November.) But things should be a lot more settled then.
We finally got their Certificates of Citizenship - proof that they are US citizens. I need them for MN Care. One more piece of papers to their puzzle! Now, I am just waiting for SSN. Hope that comes soon too.
One more thing I wanted to mention is that we still go back and forth between their Ukrainian names and their American names, so I just wanted to update you on who goes with who, I've had people tell me that had to look back and cross reference, so here they are again. Ryan Maxim age 8, Robin Vlada age 7, Jason Vanya age 5, and Jillian Katya age 3.
Ooops, another things I wanted to talk about is "America". When we came home and drove in the yard, they started saying America America excitedly that they were finally home and we let them thinking this is a cool part of America. Then one day, Monte had to drive by our house with the kids on the way to the woods and they said America America again, and now they say it for every house in a catalog. I guess we are going to try to find a way to explain what America is!!
I know we have made more progress and there are things I have thought that I wanted to blog that I have now forgotten. I guess if I blogged more often I wouldn't have that problem!! But as I think of them, I will blog them. Now, I need to go make lunch for my brood. Take care!