Friday, May 31, 2013

Friday Fun With Dima

As mentioned in the previous entry, Dima has got Eric and I to himself until Sunday afternoon.  Yesterday we took it easy as this momma has had a lovely head cold turned into chest cold.  But today I just couldn't stay in the house any longer.  We decided to drive to our favorite thrift store that is about 20 minutes away from our home.  They were having their 1/2 price sale and Eric needed some new shirts so Dima and I went on a little adventure.

Dima and momma headed off for some shopping fun!
Our most favorite thrift store ever!  The Key Training Center is a wonderful organization that helps adults with various disabilities.  This is Dima's future!
Daddy may have had some shirts purchased for him, but Dima got a swell puzzle that teaches do's and don'ts.  I love the example on th box regading underwear.  Dima should take that advice to heart!
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Reunited and It Feels So Good

Each summer Jeremiah, Elijah, and Sammy go on an extensive camping trip with Grammy and Pa around the State of Florida.  Dima was not quite ready to go on that sort of trip without momma being there so we opted to keep Dima home again this year.  We also looked at it as an opportunity to spoil him with some extra special love and attention.  He has been enjoying it until last evening when he burst into tears because he misses his brothers.  Poor guy.

On the first day of the boys' camping trip, however, Dima and I made the treak to our former stomping grounds to visit with dear Carol or as Dima calls her, "Totie" (yes, I know Totie is not the formal Russian word for aunt but that is what Dima has called her from the moment he met her).  Carol, aka "Totie", travled with Eric and I to Ukraine when we adopted Dima.  She then also remained in Ukraine with me for 4 1/2 weeks after Eric returned home to the States.  To say that we became close friends was an understatement!  She is one of my closest friends and has stuck closer to me than a sister.  Carol also passionately loves her Dima and he loves her just as much in return!  

We had lunch at her golf club and Dima was a perfect little gentleman.  The greeter assumed that Dima would act up and brought over paper and markers for him to color.  Nope, Dima was able to sit with us and carry on a relatively in-depth conversation about school.  I offered the markers and paper to him and he was not at all interested.  After our delicious lunch we went to Toys 'R Us where Dima spent $50 in birthday gift cards on Animal Planet animal sets.  Wow!  He was in heaven!  We spent the remainder of the afternoon at Carol's home relaxing on her back porch and watching Dima have fun in the plastic pool that she had purchased for her dog, Spirit.  Dima and Spirit played together and had a blast.

Sadly, before we knew it the day was almost over and it was time for us to make the journey back home.  We were sad to leave but truly enjoyed the time with "Totie".  She is one of the most Godly, wise, and caring women I know and I am blessed to call her friend.  Here are some little glimpses into our visit:

Totie and Dima fill the pool for Spirit.
Dima loves to play in water.
It didn't take long for the clothes to come off and for Dima to end up in the pool before Spirit!
Dima brought some of his new animals into the pool with him.
Dima, Totie, and Spirit.
Best buddies.
Doggy kisses for Dima.
This child radiates pure joy, epscially at Totie's house (where Dima is king)!
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Thursday, May 16, 2013

The Johnson Family from Virginia

The next family that I would like to introduce you to is the Johnson Family in Virginia.  They have made an awesome video to share their touching story.  I have permission from them to share it with you all here.

From the words of Erin:  "I'm a mom trying to be the change I want to see in the world.  I am blessed to be married to my best friend.  We have two sons and one daughter.  I was forever changed by our adoption trip to Ukraine in 2010 and have since found myself an orphan advocate trying to be a voice for those who have none. Our latest adventure was hosting a seven year old boy from Ukraine for the summer of 2012.  That turned into re-hosting him for Christmas, plus big brother!  We fell in love with them both...Ukraine here we come again!  God is still in the miracle working business!"

How can you be a part of this awesome story?  Pray, give, and encourage.  You can follow along with their amazing adoption adventure via their blog: The Johnson Journals.  If you wish to make a financial contribution to their efforts you may do so at their Adopt Together page HERE.

Finally, if you are interested in hosting an orphan check out Project One Forty Three, Children's Cultural Connection, or New Horizon's to learn more about hosting an orphan for a summer or winter session.

I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.  John 14:18

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

To My Son's Birthmother

Today is your son's ninth birthday.  Did you remember?  Did you think about him?  Did you wonder for one moment wether or not he is safe?  Do you even know where he is?

Today is my son's ninth birthday.  He came bounding into my bedroom at 7:00 this morning exclaiming, "Happy Birthday Dima!".  I looked into those bright blue eyes and wished him a happy birthday.  He has been waiting for this day for months and loves to celebrate birthdays with friends and family.

Like all mothers I thought about the day my son was born.  Only I could not recall any details of my son's birth.  You were there.  You gave birth to my son.  I often wonder what my son was like as a baby.  No doubt he was an adorable little fellow, probably lots of smiles and giggles.  Did you ever love him?  Did you ever sit up with him at night and rock him?  I would have given anything to have had that privilege.

The only connection I have to this day nine years ago was driving through a small, rural, Ukrainian village.  Lozova.  The place of my son's birth.  All I have are two videos to share with you.

Since August of 2011 you have never been far from my mind, especially when Dima would talk about you in his Russian/broken English.  When he was first home with us he had many memories and they were mostly unpleasant.  Over time, however, I've encouraged him to pray for you and remember the good.  His prayers for you are sweet and heartfelt and now in English.

I could be angry at you for all that you did.  But I am not.  I pity you.  I feel sorry for you.  My heart hurts for you.  You did, after all, give life to my son and for that I am eternally grateful.  From one mother to another I must believe that somewhere deep down in your heart you loved your son, that you still wonder about him.  I will never have the answer to that nor will your son.

So today, as my son and your son celebrates his ninth birthday, more prayers on your behalf will be sent to our Father above and we can only hope that someday we will all be together in heaven.  I will continue to cherish my son and raise him with all of the love he deserves.  It is well.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

from there ... to eternity

I would like to share a video created by Adeye Salem that was shared at Summit 9 in Nashville this past week.  It is safe to say that this video speaks volumes as to why Eric and I adopted (and will again someday!) and why we will continue to scream and shout for little ones from all over the world.  Watch:  be moved, challenged, and changed.  Do not pass up the opportunity to make an eternal difference in the life of a child or a family in the midst of adopting a child.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Update on Sammy Wammy

It has been awhile since I posted anything on Sammy and his ongoing issues.  This past Monday we had a neurology appointment and have gained some answers.  We still do not have the final answer, but with each round of tests/blood work we are getting there.

Back on March 1st Sammy had a sedated CT scan of his entire head and all the way down his spine.  Thankfully the scan showed nothing in terms of damage or growth (i.e. no brain damage or tumors).  So we then had some blood work done.  The first round of blood work showed nothing out of the ordinary which is also good news.

So what next and what in the world could possibly be going on in that child's body?  Well, the neurologist suspects that there is something  going on with Sammy's genetics.  Either something is missing or switched.  Apparently that is not all that uncommon.  The trick is, however, to find exactly what is missing or switched.  It is going to take more blood work and possibly even a biopsy of some muscle tissue.  In the meantime we continue to help Sammy become stronger through various exercises we learned at OT and making certain that he gets the right food.

There is one piece of information that I failed to share with the neurologist.....

Sammy IS a laundry monster...maybe that is the cause?