Sunday, June 28, 2015

Building Trust

Everyday we are still building trust. That is the kind of trust that the parents will love them and take care of them every day. It is also the trust that the kids will not burn the house down or destroy things while the parents are in the other room. HA. Yes we have been together for almost 5 months but the kids still question if Jeff and I are always going to be there. I have heard it can take over a year to four years until the kids completely trust. Each of our kids have different levels of trust in us. They do test this trust. They just always want reassurance that we do love them. For example Elliana was very upset for several days in a row and after she would finish crying she asked if I loved her. Of course I'd give her that reassurance and then pull out the book "I love you because you are you." I added her name to each page. She has heard me say it a thousand times but I am sure she will need it said another thousand times and see it in my actions over and over again. Overall Jeff and I are really happy at how well the bonding is going. The kids do come to us for their needs, they look to us and cling to us when we are out with strangers. We still have work in this area but we have already come so far in just 5 months!

A few nights ago Hunter was a little insecure and ask if I would lay down with him for a bit. Jeff and I don't sleep with the kids but we will let them climb in our bed if it is close to waking up time. Well I said I would lay down with him. I had to use the toilet first and when I came back, he went to the closet and pulled out a pillow. He patted the pillow and said "I got for you Mommy."  It was just the sweetest little jester that melted me. He had no pillow case on it but he thought about my comfort and pulled me a pillow.

For Fathers day, I had the kids all draw Daddy a card. Spencer decided to draw our family. He drew five figures with belly buttons and all. It was cute. Daddy was so happy when he saw that. The picture/card now is a proud piece of art work that hangs on our refrigerator.

Yesterday we had another couple over that is also adopting a sibling set of 3-4 from Latvia. It was great to talking with them. It reminds me of how I was feeling only 8 months ago. Wow have our lives changes since then. They brought our kids each a gift. They hit the nail on the head for Elliana. She loves this microphone toy. She has been signing frozen songs at the top of her lungs now amplified non-stop. HA. We love it well maybe not Jeff so much but he is coping. :-) We are going to add songs to it so we don't hear Frozen all the time. She is sharing with the boys and counting how many minutes they are allowed to have it.  The boys are singing all the bed times songs that I sing to them every night. Spencer sings "You are my sunshine."  Hunter signs "Baby Beluga."  The dogs are hiding upstairs while all this happens. Jeff and I are just laughing at it all. They are signing while I am typing this up.

Coming up the kids have a swimming trip with their daycare. I am very nervous about that. Our kids can't swim. We have been trying to get them swimming every chance we have. Last weekend we went to Grandma and Grandpa Holub's house. We swam in their pond. The kids at first were nervous but then they jumped right in. They need a noodle or boogie board to stay afloat. Once they know English better we will sing them up for swimming classes.

We still have not heard word on our trip three yet. We are really hoping for early August. We want to get them into school and start with everyone else. Hopefully we will know in the next week or two. We finally got our DS 260 filed! The embassy website has been down and were to have this filed before trip two what a pain. I was getting nervous so I am glad it finally worked. 

I had a really hard time picking what pictures to add since I had so many good ones. So here are a few.
We let each kids have the controls for bit. They loved it!

Our little fishes.

Spencer says right from left, Mom, Dad, Hunter, Spencer, and Elliana. Spencer really likes big bellies so he gets the biggest one. HA.
Elliana and Spencer went for a walk around the pound. They held hands the entire time. Sibling Love.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Hunter's Surgery

When Jeff and I were in Latvia we were told that Hunter's teeth were not an issue. For those of you that have seen the inside of Hunter's mouth you would have thought something different. We went to a special dentist to have them checked out. Our dentist told us we need to get him in to remove several teeth, cap others which includes drilling and filling, root canals, and check into a possible infection. They could not get us in until September for the surgery but they put us on the cancellation waiting list. This past Tuesday we received a call for Hunter to come in that Friday. We jumped on it. This poor brave little guy had to be put under for a surgery/teeth extractions that lasted 70 minutes. The dentist came out and said it was worse then he thought. There was a nasty infection in there. The doctor was able to scrap it all out however, it reached his adult teeth. We are going to have permanent discoloration to his adult teeth. That was not what we wanted to hear but now a days you can do a lot with teeth color.  We are just so glad we got the infection out when we did.

Jeff spent all day Friday with him. Hunter when he woke up from his surgery did freak out with the IV in his arm. Jeff was saying he would come in and out and wave his arms around to get the IV off. He is only getting soft foods for a while due to the four holes in his mouth and the four brand new silver caps. At dinner he told me that his mouth feels so much better. It made Jeff and I wonder if he was always in mouth pain but did not say anything to us. Today being the first day after the surgery he was extremely clingy.  The other kids took his surgery harder then I thought they would. Elliana Thursday night before his surgery kept telling him that she loved him and it would be ok. She hugged and kissed him several times. She was very worried about him.

There has been something that I have been noticing for a while now but could not understand. Sometimes and buy all means less than 40% of the time when you are holding one of these kids they would rub my back or pat me like you would a baby.  They were all doing this over the past week and I told Jeff this means something. Well sure enough we looked into it and these are signs of neglect. People are made to be touched and loved. It is common in baby orphanages that the kids will reach through the wood slats to touch another baby. They may rub or pat them. It is a way of getting that human touch. When our kids do this now, I will hold them close and I don't pull away until they initiate the  pull away.  I am also trying to make sure I give them extra loving when possible. Elliana and Hunter both were doing this to me as soon as they found out about Hunter's Surgery.

We did have Hunter's birthday! It was a dinosaur theme and it was so much fun.  He had so much fun! We got a ton of dinosaur gifts.  All the nieces and nephews got to play with water balloons and run in the water sprinkler. Elliana saw Macie's bathing suit and she realized she had the same one so we had to go up stairs and change into the same one. It was really cute. The kids all had a blast. We also got to do another camping night. Elliana gets the most excited about sleeping outside.  She was still running around the tent screaming and laughing, 

Friday, June 12, 2015

Trip Two!!

Jeff just came back from trip two! We found out two weeks before he had to be back in country.  We pulled together the fees and paperwork just in time.  He left early Friday morning and flew home late on a Tuesday.  He had a court appointment. Now we heard that Latvia court was hard but all of our experiences were great.  Jeff said this court was hard. They (the prosecutor and judge) questioned him for 1.5 hours!! The major topics were our finances, everyday life schedule, improvements, communication, schooling, home arrangements and Jeff and I’s adjustments.  Jeff was glad that he took 22 pictures this was a big deal to have, he probably should have taken more.  It was a one day ordeal and that was all.  Jeff decided to fly Aeroflot (the Russian airline) which went from JFK airport to Moscow then to Riga.  Aeroflot only flies out of JFK but is about $400 cheaper.   

All we have left is just one more trip to Latvia and the expensive part of the adoption is over!! I can't wait. We hear we might go the 1st or 2nd week of August. Perfect time so we can get the kids into school.

Life has kept us moving. The kids are learning so much English it is great. Jeff and I now have to talk after the kids go to bed. HA. The two older ones have gone into a different class at daycare. They are now with the school age kids. Hunter is by himself but he is doing well. He asks where Elliana and Spencer are but he is learning so much by not having them around.

While Jeff was gone I took the kids swimming. They loved it. They must have been in the water before. They can’t swim but they were not scared. Hunter was very close to floating. Elliana loved to go underwater and hold her breath. Spencer could splash around on a noodle. They want to go again soon. We are definitely going to set them up with swimming lesson this fall at an indoor pool if not sooner.  

The kids’ rooms are almost done. Elliana has flowers painted on her room. Her Aunt Robin did an amazing job. Elliana even got to paint a flower. She loved it!  We are adding the butterflies to them tonight. Elliana has been saying she likes the blue flowers. We finally got her to say that she likes the color blue. Aunt Robin said that her favorite color was blue. Elliana had to think for a minute. She understood that a girl can like another color besides pink. It was great that she is getting comfortably enough to finally say what she feels and likes.  Of the three kids Elliana is picking up English the quickest.

Spencer is starting to come into his own as well. We have very small steps but they are steps. He always says he likes what everyone else does. Hunter loves dinosaurs. So Spencer says he does as well. I got another poster for the boys room and I showed them before I put it up. Hunter was kissing this T-Rex and Spencer looked up gave a fake big smile and went back to playing. I wanted until he was alone and asked him if he liked cars or airplanes. He got really excited when I said airplanes. Just like Elliana he always gets happy when we talk about any “machine”.  So I happened to have two planes pictures. I pulled them out and Spencer said I like those planes Mom.  I painted the picture frames to make them more for kids. It was a hit! So the boys room has planes and dinosaurs. 

I really want the kids to be able to tell me what they like without being afraid of my reaction.  So we let them pick out there clothes. Regardless of how they look that is how they dress. I don’t want to limit them because it is the one thing that they can pick out without me pulling teeth to get them too. Hunter by far is the most adjusted. He will tell me what he likes and does not like. Luckily he like almost every type of food and is very easy going. 

I want to share with you a video of Spencer feeding Mia. These poor dogs have to listen to “Happy Birthday” song before they are feed. Mia is licking her lips and sitting really pretty. It cracks me up!  You can hear Hunter crying in the background. He sometimes does not wake up well.  These dogs do love these kids back. Mia carried Spencer’s blanket to the coach and slept on it while Spencer was at daycare.