Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Endings and Beginnings
As most of you know, a new chapter has started in our family's life. I have thoroughly loved writing this blog. It has been a great way to journal about the adoption and other things. It helps me to date things. I have met many wonderful blog friends and feel bonded to many of you. I have enjoyed following your lives and hope to continue to do so as much as possible.

However, with my new life overseas, I'm finding that I'm way too busy to keep up 2 blogs. I've known it for a while, but just couldn't bring myself to wrap this one up.

Many of you know that I started a private blog about our adventures in Asia. It has to be private for many reasons. I wish it did not have to be that way, but that's beside the point. Some of you are already reading it and have access to it. I'm really not sure if very many people ever click over here anymore because I haven't been able to post much. However, if any of you out there still do and would like access to the new blog, just post a comment containing your email address. I cannot give mine out in a public place such as this, so we will have to do it this way. I do have comment moderation enabled and will not post any comments that contain an email address. Once I receive your address, I will send you a personal invitation to read the new blog.

So, the time has come dear friends to turn the lights out on this blog. For over two and a half years I have laughed and cried on here. I've opened my life for you to see. It is hard to end a chapter and open a new one, but it is time. Thanks so much for all of your wonderful support and care. I hope that each of you are blessed in your life as much as I have been in mine. May God bless each of you.

Goodbye Russian Adoption Diary!
Hello Asian Adventurers!
posted by 6blessings @ 5:12 AM   4 comments
Friday, August 22, 2008
We're Here
Just wanted to let everyone know that we're here and doing well. We just got our internet connected today. I'll post more later.
posted by 6blessings @ 2:32 AM   8 comments
Monday, August 11, 2008
Leaving Tomorrow
Well, it is here. We're leaving for the other side of the world tomorrow evening. We are scrambling to do last minute packing. The kids are mostly all packed, even their carry-ons. It has really gone quite well. We are wrapping everything up, saying our last goodbyes, and getting everything ready.

Our house has not sold yet, but we have had 3 showings this last week. One of those is extremely interested. We're waiting to see what God will do.

Overall, everyone is doing well. H and her sweet friends are naturally having a difficult time. Many will be hanging out here today and she'll have a huge send-off tomorrow at the airport. A good portion of her youth group plans to be there.

Yesterday at church was gut-wrenching. It was very difficult, but also a sweet time. We love it there and will miss it very much.

We'll update with pics and news when we arrive.

Next time, from the other side of the world...
posted by 6blessings @ 12:12 PM   4 comments
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Tooth Tales
Last week we were gone to some training for our future (very near-13 days) move. We had to go to California for the week. The kids were not required to go so we left them with my family here in Oklahoma.
Here's a picture of us on the last night.

Friday we flew home. Our plane landed at around 3:00 in the afternoon. We had our luggage and were on the way to my parent's house by 3:30 p.m. About 20 minutes before we arrived there, we received a phone call saying that there had been an accident. J was walking toward the kitchen when El came barrelling around the corner (yes, running in the house is a violation of the rules). El's head is the exact height as J's mouth. You guessed it.
As soon as we arrived at my parent's house, we looked at it and headed back out to the urgent care. The blow had gashed his mouth and lip and had even knocked out a tooth. Thank goodness it was a baby tooth, not yet loose, but now gone. At the urgent care, they put in a couple of stitches on the outside, but chose not to stitch inside. We're wondering about that decision now.
My good friend is a nurse. She came over today to take out the stitches. She took one out and then decided that it didn't look too good. She's afraid that they should have stitched the inside too. He's got a big pocket of tissue that has formed outside where the cut is healing. We'll head to the doctor again tomorrow to have it checked.
Here's the poor little guy. It looked much worse the next few days as the swelling increased.
While we were at the doc getting stitches, my family went and got him this balloon. Notice the bandaid on the duck's face. Cute!
On to brighter smiles...
Costly smiles...
Straight smiles...
Introducing beautiful H without her braces...

H had her braces put on in March 07. When we found out we were moving overseas and there would be no orthodontic care where we were going, we had to have the doctor step it up. She just got them off today. Doesn't she look good?!

Update: I took J to the doctor and they put him on an antibiotic. They said there is definitely something wrong. They can't tell if it is simply an area under the gum that is swollen because of infection or if the insides have come out and have been sealed out. We go back for a recheck on Monday. If it looks better, they will stay the course of antibiotics. If it doesn't, we will be sent to an oral surgeon. This will all be 1 week and 1 day before we depart.
posted by 6blessings @ 8:49 PM   5 comments
Friday, July 18, 2008
Auction Update
I've been working on a video of the auction to put on here, but it's not going so quickly. Therefore, I thought I'd give everyone a quick update and post it later when I get it done.

The auction day was an absolute blessing. Many people showed up bright and early that morning to help us move everything out into the yard. What should have taken hours was done in one hour that morning because of all of the wonderful help we had.

Attendance for the auction was pretty low. However, most of the people who were here were either family or church friends. Some showed up just to support us. It was a little slow at first and we had trailers half full of boxes go for $5 and $7. That was a little hard to swallow. Most of the prices paid for our things were pretty low. Believe me, you could have got some real bargains, cheaper than garage sale prices sometimes. However, some things went well, like D's car and the Cub Cadet mower.

At the end of the day, we looked back and were pleased. The goal of getting rid of everything we owned had been accomplished. We knew that many of the people who bought the items at incredibly low prices really needed the stuff, including several single moms. Some people, including a 7-year-old foster boy, bought bags of our blankets to donate to a project our church is working on to send blankets to Kazakhstan and Morroco. One friend personally bid way more than the auctioneer started at on an item just to help us out. Even the good friend that bought the trailers full of boxes at next to nothing said the stuff was for a benefit garage sale to help a man injured in a motorcycle wreck who isn't able to make ends meet right now.

We were just completely blessed by the sheer outpouring of love for our family. Some people helped prepare for the auction during the week, some ran concessions, some stayed all day and cleaned up, some tried to bid items up to help sales, some asked us how we were doing, some set up early, some tore down late, some just came, and some did all of the above. All of the workers, including the auctioneers volunteered their time to us that day. Almost all of our family was there. I have never felt more loved or blessed.

The next day at church, the auction lived on. I was helping to sort some clothes our church is shipping to people in Morocco (that's where all of our clothes went) and watched a lady pull 3 of our best coats out of a bag. Someone had bought them at the auction and had donated them the next morning. Many people asked how the auction went and all we could say is that GOD WAS THERE. He walked and breathed in every volunteer that helped, every bid that occured, and was present in our hearts with a peace that passed all understanding. I felt like a free bird that day. All of the worldly possessions that tied me down were gone and I felt a freedom like I never had before. Jesus walked among us that day and we were so glad that we could give back to Him everything He had given to us.
posted by 6blessings @ 8:11 PM   7 comments
Thursday, July 10, 2008
Auction Time
Well, it's here. On Saturday we will get rid of all of our earthly possessions, except for a few boxes of pictures, memorabilia, family heirlooms, and stuff to pass to the kids when they get older and have homes of their own.

This morning the auctioneer is coming to go through all of our stuff. We have spent the last few weeks loading everything into lots. He will come and make sure it looks good and get an idea of what we have. He will then come back for the sale on Saturday. We are going to have to carry everything out and line it up for him to sell. It is estimated that it will last about 4-5 hours. Yes, 4-5 hours to sell 17 years worth of stuff.

All of the kids did great packing up their stuff, no tears at all. Each of them has a bucket of clothes and a small box of belongings. We are down to using plastic plates, cups, and tableware and washing those for reuse. We have saved one skillet and our crockpot for cooking over the next month.

We booked our tickets last week. We leave on August 12, my birthday.
posted by 6blessings @ 6:35 AM   10 comments
Friday, July 04, 2008
Today marks 2 years since the bwins officially became ours. This was the day that the judge said, "Da". Looking back, the whole experience seems so different at this point.

Two days ago, we sat in a child psychologist's office and she told us about our boys' diagnosis. After spending 5 hours each testing with her, she read over the results. She determined a good amount of brain damage, irreparable damage. In many areas, the boys scored in the first percentile for their age group, meaning that they are in the lowest possible grouping. One area even ranked 1 year old 10 months development. Their IQs were 80 and 83, not good at all, but not the worst. They just have many processing problems. She gave them a pFAS diagnosis. It is full blown FAS, minus one or two facial markers. Here is a definition from Wikipedia:

Partial FAS (PFAS)
Previously known as Atypical FAS in the 1997 edition of the "4-Digit Diagnostic Code," patients with Partial Fetal Alcohol Syndrome have a confirmed history of prenatal alcohol exposure, but may lack growth deficiency or the complete facial stigmata. Central nervous system damage is present at the same level as FAS. These individuals have the same functional disabilities but "look" less like FAS.

The following criteria must be fully met for a diagnosis of Partial FAS :

1. Growth deficiency - Growth or height may range from normal to deficient
2. FAS facial features - Two or three FAS facial features present

3. Central nervous system damage - Clinically significant structural, neurological, or functional impairment in three or more of the Ten Brain Domains
4. Prenatal alcohol exposure - Confirmed prenatal alcohol exposure

She suggested other doctors to go see for certain problems that they have. She also gave us many ideas about activities to help them in their weak areas. Basically, it is going to be a long road full of understanding and repetitions. She said there's no way to know about their future- whether they will ever be able to leave the home, get a job, hold down a job, etc.

On the flip side, and the one we will focus on, she identified some strengths. They scored at age level on one test and above age level on another. They also scored mid-Kindergarten on their actual knowledge, not learning ability. She said she could tell that they had been really worked with. She also commented that although they probably had some minor attachment problems, she felt that they had good bonds with us. She said she could tell they were loved.

This doctor was a gift from God. She told us that she has tested over 200 FASD kids. Only 5 had a complete FAS diagnosis. She shared many stories with us to explain problems we may face in the future, how to handle them, and basically said that she thought we were giving them the best shot at life. We absolutely loved her and she loved the boys.

As far as their future goes, I know WHO holds that. It is all in His hands. Looking back on two years ago, I know we didn't know what we were getting into, how it would eventually affect our family, the enormity of what we were taking on at that time. What I do know is that the events that took place leading up to these boys becoming our sons were nothing but God events. Therefore, all I can conclude is that He chose this for us and He has a plan. We will work at it with all of our might as if working for Him, taking care of the precious blessings He has placed in our life.

The day we got the results, L kept coming to me, looking me in the eye deeply, and grinning. Eventually, he would say, "Mom, I love you." At the end of the day, when D was putting them to bed, he came to me and said it again. As he was walking away, he turned around and said, "Mom, tomorrow I'm going to tell you I love you again." He continued to yell, "Mom, I love you," even after being put to bed. I don't know why God chose that day for L to be repetitive about that. He repeats many things, all day long, every minute of every day. Sometimes it can be quite bothersome. However, not that day, not those words.

Thank you God for the very small boys that you brought into our lives two years ago. Thank you for the very big blessings they are to us.

Bwins, Mama loves you and I'm glad you're forever home (no matter how long that means).
posted by 6blessings @ 5:55 AM   11 comments

Name: 6blessings
About Me:

See my complete profile

Endings and Beginnings
We're Here
Leaving Tomorrow
Tooth Tales
Auction Update
Auction Time
Mirror Image Twins?

November 2005
December 2005
January 2006
February 2006
March 2006
April 2006
May 2006
June 2006
July 2006
August 2006
September 2006
October 2006
November 2006
December 2006
January 2007
February 2007
March 2007
April 2007
May 2007
June 2007
July 2007
August 2007
September 2007
October 2007
November 2007
December 2007
January 2008
February 2008
March 2008
April 2008
May 2008
June 2008
July 2008
August 2008
September 2008

Adopting 2 From Russia
Family Reunion
Russian Adoption Dva
Russian Adoption Journey
The Open Window
Three Sons and a Princess
Worth the Wait
Adventures in Daily Living
Just Another Day in Paradise
Pisarik's International Adoption Journey
From Russia, with Love
Precious Gifts from God
Russian Adoption
Four Feet More
Smiles and Trials
Renovating Life
Made for a Mission
Kendal Hope
Mom on a Mission
Rhett's Blog

Free Blogger Templates

With a few tweaks here and there by Margaret