Sunday, September 30, 2012

Good News Post!

Well, if it were possible to have too much good news for one post this would be it!

First, remember my previous entry?  You know, we were sponsoring an adorable baby girl, Adalia, for Reece's Rainbow Angel Tree and it was our mission to find her a family?  Well, mission accomplished!  I was notified that she has been found by her family!  I do not yet know who her family is, but if they see this entry, congratulations to them!  I am so thrilled for you both!  Our family will get a new Angel Tree child this week and we will share who he/she is as soon as we know.

Second, Dima had a follow up appointment from a CAT scan he had for his ears.  We had been told that Dima was hearing impaired and would need to have further testing done to see how we could help him hear.  So we went in and they did some more hearing tests and went over the results of the CAT scan.  Lo and behold Dima's ears are HEALED!  HE CAN HEAR!  The only thing that Dima was diagnosed with was "selective hearing" (ha ha!).  So Dima was released from the ENT's care for now and that is one less doctor that we have to visit on a regular basis.  I am grateful for Dima's sake that he will not need any hearing aids or further surgery.  Doctor appointments still seem to cause anxiety for him and it takes a few days for him to "recover".

Third, I had my first round of parent/teacher conferences with the boys' teachers over the past few weeks.  They all went swimmingly and the boys are all doing a fantastic job in school this year.  Jeremiah and Sammy are being tested for the gifted program, Dima is learning how to READ AND WRITE, and Elijah was described as one of the nicest little boys his teacher has ever met.  I know that this new school year has been a huge adjustment for them all and we had some bumps in the road at first, but all seems to be well now.  A big part of their success is that they are at a wonderful school and have excellent teachers.  That has made the difference for Elijah and Dima in particular.

Fourth, we are getting a new member of our family only this time it is of the 4 legged variety.  Yesterday the boys and I met a 72 lb. Weimaraner named Caleb (who the boys will rename Scooby Doo) at an event called Barktober Fest in Orlando.  Scooby Doo is one of the most intelligent, kind, playful, and handsome fellows I have ever seen.  He took to the boys almost right away and I can totally envision Scooby and the boys getting into some mischief together.



As you can see the boys and Scooby are all smiles and happy to have found one another.  I do want to give a shout out to the Big Dog Ranch Rescue that is located in Wellington, FL.  They have an amazing facility and the dogs are all very well cared for.  They also have an extensive network of foster families throughout Florida that really go above and beyond to make sure families get the right dog.  While my personal passion is finding forever families for orphans, I do want to also share that if you are considering adding a 4 legged member to your family, this particular rescue is an excellent one to consider.

Scooby Do will officially join our family one week from today.  We could not take him with us as we HAVE TO MOVE INTO OUR NEW HOUSE!!  Finally, after 4 months of trying to purchase the only house we looked at all summer, we closed on the house this past week.  It is on 1/2 acre and the back yard is totally fenced in so Scooby can run around and chase squirrels.  The back yard also has a lovely in-ground pool so the boys will be able to swim all of the time once again.  Eric will be back home with us on Tuesday (after being away from us for a whole month) and we can do a few things to the house and move in.  Scooby will then be delivered to us next Sunday afternoon.

So our biggest and best news is that we once again have our own home.  We moved in with my in-laws on May 24th and it is now the last day of September.  It was a long, hard, season of uncomfortable living arrangements but I am grateful that we had a safe place to stay.  It will feel good to sleep in our own beds, the boys will have their toys back (they have played with the same few toys over and over all summer and there was lots of bickering- oy!), and most importantly they will feel secure once again. In no way does living in a house mean eternal security or that is the only thing that brings about happiness, God provides all of that.  But as children, they have been unable to fully understand all of the circumstances that brought about the major upheaval in their lives.  All they knew is that everything that meant security in the day to day routine had been ripped from them and it was beyond their control.  Ultimately I believe that God spared us from further heartache that could have been if we had remained where we were and we have been blessed beyond measure with an exciting new chapter in our lives.  The change was painful for all of us and there is still some lingering hurts.  In time that will all heal.

So that about sums up the past few weeks!  All in all good news.  I will leave you with some videos from yesterday: Scooby Doo and an awesome boat ride that we took with Pa (Eric's dad).

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Introducing.....

Well, I now have some serious motivation to blog once again!  Our family is pleased to share that we are sponsoring a little one through Reece's Rainbow Angel Tree project!  Our goal is to raise $1,000 for a little one's adoption grant with Reece's Rainbow.  It is also our hope that the little one we are sponsoring is found by her family.

We were able to choose who we could sponsor and since I have all boys, I wanted to advocate for a little girl.  And since we adopted an older child via Reece's Rainbow I wanted to choose a baby.  Oh how I miss having a little baby!  So we choose a little one listed with Reece's Rainbow who has some ties to our son's past.  That is all I will say.

This little one's name is Adalia.  She was born in March of 2012 and would be at the prime age to be adopted.  Aside form her Down Syndrome she has no other medical complications listed with her file.



Just look at her!  If Eric and I were in a position to adopt her I would swim across the Atlantic to get to her...she deserves a family!!

Beginning November 1st anyone who makes a donation of $35 or more will receive a starfish ornament with her photo attached to it for your Christmas tree.  It is a reminder that it makes a difference to this little one and you can pray for her every time you see her sweet face.  My boys and I will be having some giveaways and sell some items like we did when we were adopting Dima.  All donations to Adalia's grant are tax-deductible!!  To make a donation via Pay Pal (linked directly to her grant with Reece's Rainbow) please click HERE.  If you would rather send a check directly to Reece's Rainbow you can send it here:


Reece’s Rainbow
PO Box 4024
Gaithersburg, MD 20885

If you send a check please put Adalia's name in the memo so it gets to her grant.


In the meantime, please pray that her family would find her...pray that the Lord would move on the hearts of her new mama and papa...they are out there somewhere!!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

One Year Ago (Yesterday)

I have really been awful about blogging and had a whole month of blog posts planned out about our time in the Ukraine last summer.  Instead, life got in the way and the blogging had to take a number.

But given that one year ago yesterday Dima officially landed on U.S. soil and became a U.S. citizen, well, surely I can spare an hour to get an entry up, right?

Dima has overcome so much in one year's time and has grown so much more than we expected.  He now speaks only English and refuses to speak any Russian (and that is despite being hearing impaired!), has gained 12 pounds, goes to school and is learning how to: read, write, count, and make friends, swims like a fish, and is learning how to ride a bike!  One year ago today he woke up in a strange bed in a strange house, with strange people, very uncertain of what had all just happened.  He was petrified of our former dog, and would break out of the house at all hours of the day and night.

Here are some videos of him leaving the Ukraine and arriving home.  His REAL home.




And now one year later we have celebrated his Gotcha Day (August 31st).  Here are some before and after videos.





As you can see Dima's life has changed drastically in one year's time.  He still has a long way to go but we know that with God all things are possible.  In the meantime our family will continue to advocate for others just like Dima.  Beginning November 1st we will be advocating for a little one through Reece's Rainbow Angel Tree project.  Our goal will be to raise $1,000 for that child's adoption grant with Reece's Rainbow.  We will not be personally adopting that child though we hope a family does indeed commit to that child and give him or her the love of a family.