Pages

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Another month gone

Once again, a month has passed. It's amazing to me that this year has become just that....one month gone, then another. Being a mom intensifies that "time flying" thing.

I can't believe that I missed the obligatory one year gotcha day post and all that stuff. Let's see, we have so many different "one year since" days around here. :)

Nov 15th - the day that we met him
Nov 19th - this was the day that we took custody of our boy...even though the adoption wasn't final yet.
Nov 25th - it was Thanksgiving last year when we had our adoption ceremony so we celebrated "Adoption Day" on Thanksgiving this year even though it was the 24th....and we will probably celebrate adoption day every Thanksgiving (We celebrated a little on the 25th too)
Dec 2nd - the day that we landed on US soil making Vlado an American citizen.

We did have a good time on Thanksgiving. To make our day different, I cooked a duck instead of a turkey and it was pretty yummy! I also made lepinja (a Serbian bread) and Honey said that it took him back to Serbia. :) I'm not sure that Vlado truly understood the importance of the day, but he will in time.

He has been super clingy for a little while. He is in my lap almost all the time, and he doesn't just sit there. He lays back and rests his head on my shoulder and just cuddles in. He lets me wrap my arms around him without fighting it and giggles when I kiss his head. The other night we were all at the mall and he lost sight of me (I was trying to shop for some clothes...my least favorite thing to do...and I just wanted to find something and leave) He was with Honey, but I could hear him wandering around calling, "Mama? Mama?" It was very cool that he was searching for me. Funny thing is that he would probably have done something similar if he lost sight of Honey. The way he says, "Daddy?" is just too adorable.

School is going well for him. He had issues at the beginning of the year with touching and/or kissing the other kids but thankfully that is starting to resolve itself (we hope) He is still working on reading comprehension, but he can pick up almost any kids book and read the whole thing. He is pretty good at sounding out words, but he has the most amazing memory so most of his reading is memorized words. He knows his 1's and 2's for addition and subtraction. His ELL teacher is working him overtime trying to get him up to speed.

And he is just as cute as can be. This is my favorite pic of him! But this was taken in September. He has lost his two front teeth. One of my facebook friends said he can sing "All I want for Christmas is my Two Front Teeth" this year. LOL! This is his truly happy smile.


Sunday, November 6, 2011

Not the post I wanted to make

This definitely wasn't what I thought I would be posting for my 200th post. Hubby and I have decided to release "Kamdyn." There are sure to be many questions. Have you ever been doing something for all the right reasons only to realize that what you were doing just wasn't right? This beautiful child was an example of this. That is all I am prepared to share at this time. Please pray for our family to heal this loss. And PLEASE PRAY that Kamdyn finds her true family quickly. She does not deserve to wait. If you feel the need to comment, please be kind. We do not need negativity at this moment. And know, I WILL delete any unkind words. You cannot judge someone without having been in their place.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Making progress

After months and months of paper chasing and waiting, it looks like our completed homestudy is within reach. We have been waiting for a long time for the background checks from the state we live in. We found out just a few days before the hurricane (Irene) that our first request for the background check was never received. So, we sent in the 2nd request.....and then the hurricane hit. The office that does the checks was in one of the hardest hit towns in our state. The office was shut down (and actually hasn't even opened back up yet). So, we waited and waited. We were told that no other office could handle the request. So, more waiting. I am not sure how, but we got our background checks back last week!! Woohoo!!! Our SW emailed me yesterday and told me that she is going to finish the homestudy this week and get us copy to make sure it is ok. When we adopted Vlado, the whole adoption never really felt real, at least during the paperwork process. When we got to the point of getting USCIS approval, it started feeling a little more real. This time, it has been the same. The thought that we should have our completed homestudy in our hands so soon just feels weird. It feels like our angel girl is just a dream, but we are moving closer to when we will actually get to hold her. Then we will do the rest of the paperwork needed to BRING HER HOME! I am sad to think that the earliest we will probably travel is February. We were in Serbia on Honey's birthday last year. Do I dare hope that we will be in Baby Sister's country on my birthday.....my birthday is in early February. :)

Sunday, August 21, 2011

He really is growing



I have thought lately that Vlado looked taller. I thought maybe I was wrong because his shorts are still big on him (at least in the waist). So, last night I decided to measure him to see. He was 44.5 inches. When we got him, he was 38 inches. In less than 9 months, he has grown 6.5 inches!!! And his face is starting to look more mature. I was looking at the book Honey had made for me for Vlado's adoption, and he looked like such a baby in those pictures.



This picture was taken on Dec 5th...just 3 days after we got home with our boy. Doesn't he look so little? And that look on his face was normal at that point. He was so unsure of this new place. :(












This was taken Aug 18th as we were driving home from my parents' house. That's just a little over 8 months between pictures yet it seems like he has matured a lot more than that. He's not a baby anymore. He was a baby at 6, but he's a big boy at 7. :)

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Happy 1st birthday!


Well, today is actually Vlado's 7th birthday. But it is his first birthday with his forever family. We kept it pretty low key. But we did go to Ponderosa for lunch. He LOVES that place because he is sure to get an ice cream cone before we leave. :)

Vlado is still learning to enjoy most toys, but he loves leggos. So, Honey got him the coolest leggos table. It has leggo top that gives him lots of space to build. It also has a cover to go over it so that it becomes a regular table if need be. We also picked up some books for him because if you know Vlado, you know that books are his most important possession. :)

We are leaving to go visit my parents tomorrow. Vlado is so excited to see Mimi and Papaw again. For about a week, Vlado has said, "Mimi, Papaw Monday" I *think* he knows what that means, but we will see. His speech is starting to take off. Summer school was the best for him. Having such a small class and so much one on one time with the teacher helped him grow so much!


This picture is from his last day of summer school. They were so sweet and had a birthday party for him. He blew out the candle by saying "WOW!" while staring at his cupcakes. He had a good time! And it was fun for me to see him having fun. He wore his birthday hat the rest of the day....and a girl at McDonalds gave him a chocolate milkshake for free.




Saturday, August 6, 2011

Vlado-isms

I am becoming one of those moms. You know the ones....who talk about their child and everything cute they said/did recently. So, here ya go! :)

Vlado came home last December almost completely non-verbal. (I know you probably remember that, but I felt I needed to have a little reminder so these stories could be appreciated for all his progress!) He knew like 3 phrases, but other than that...nada. They even told us that he probably couldn't learn to speak because he had been going to a speech therapist and she couldn't get anything out of him. Well, he IS learning! He is very good at identifying almost everything and is working on conversational speech. I have a few Vlado-isms of late and I had to share them.

1. Vlado said his first unprompted sentence and his first tattletale at the same time the other day. He came up to me (a little huffy) and said, "The cat is up!" The cat was in the window and Vlado thought he shouldn't be there. LOL! The dog can go anywhere she pleases, but that poor cat! :)

2. Bill asked Vlado the other day what we were having for dinner. (Questions still stump him most of the time) He responded, "Food" When Bill asked him what kind of food, he said, "Good food!" We were impressed that he understood the question and was able to respond with an appropriate answer.

3. I read to Vlado every night at bedtime. A few weeks ago, I started reading chapter books (just to see if he would sit still for a book with few pictures) We started with "The Mouse and the Motorcycle" and just a few days ago we started, "Ramona Forever" This morning, Vlado walked up to me and said, "No Picky" I had no idea what he was talking about. My confused face was enough, he said, "No Picky cat...book." Last night in the book, the cat Picky Picky died. I am still shocked that he understands what we are reading.

4. Today, Vlado walked down to the garden with me (in his bare feet too which is a whole other bit of progress!) He picked a yellow squash and 2 cherry tomatoes, said, "Vlado dinner" and proceeded to walk to the house. He is loving our garden. We are so lucky that he LOVES veggies!

I just had to share! :)

Friday, August 5, 2011

Bonding - updated :)

I wondered if I should share this story, but I feel that it is important.

Honey is such a wonderful hubby! Last weekend, he arranged for me to have a night off! He stayed at home with Vlado and I was able to hang out with a friend and just have a little down time. I wasn't home when it was time for Vlado to go to bed. As Honey was tucking him in, Vlado looked upset and said, "Mama home?" Honey told him I would be home later and that seemed to be enough. A little later, Honey went up to check on him and he was laying in bed crying. Honey asked him what was wrong and he said again, "Mama home?" He told him I would be home a little later and then Honey laid down with him until they both fell asleep. He was sleeping when I got home so he didn't see me until the morning....I was still in bed when Honey got him up. He came in my room to say good morning and when he saw me, his face lit up! He jumped up into our bed and hugged me like he hadn't seen me in years and said (with a huge smile) "Mama home!" :)

Vlado lived in the same foster home for almost 2 years. When we first took him to stay at the hotel with us, I was afraid how he would react to being with us versus being with his foster family at night. (I know that night time is the worst for many internationally adopted kids) He was fine...he acted like he had always been with us. If you remember, we took custody of him almost a week before our adoption ceremony. We learned that his foster mom was going to be at the ceremony and we were a little nervous that the little bonding that had happened with him would be tarnished with seeing her again. When we got there, he walked right by her like he didn't see or or didn't know her. That was a little nerve wracking thinking he might have some serious attachment problems if he could forget her that quickly. (I'm thinking he just didn't see her....he is kind of an impulsive kid)

But, he has been with us a little over 8 months and was seriously distressed that I wasn't home to tuck him in at bedtime. I HATE that he was sad/scared/hurt and I probably won't be doing a mommy's night out again any time soon. But I am so thankful that I now KNOW that Vlado does indeed feel attached to us and he needs us to be around! :)

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Elated and a little sad

I haven't looked at the families in process pages of RR for a couple days. I normally look at the "traveling now" page to read about families who are in the process of meeting and bringing home their little ones, but not usually the other pages. Today, I decided to look at the "homestudy in process" page which is where our family is listed. I was so very excited to see that someone (or a few someones) donated to our fund! There is $156 in there! When we adopted Vlado, our fund never got beyond $0. We didn't complain about that.....they money was there when we needed it, but it didn't come in the form of donations from others. So, I was very excited to see that people care enough about us and our daughter to donate money to help bring her home. If whoever donated is reading this, we are so very thankful and humbled by your generosity!

Now on to the sad part. There was another little girl (a beautiful 4 year old) who is in the same city as our little one. I never did ask if they were in the same orphanage or not, but I guess it doesn't matter. We were seriously considering adding this cutie pie to our family as well. Reading her profile was like reading Vlado's all over again. When I looked at the "my family found me" page today, she was there. I am so happy that she has a family working to bring her home, but I am a little sad that it isn't our family. We went back and forth for a while trying to decide if we could handle adopting 2 at once. I guess at this point, the decision has been made for us. That is, unless God shows us another one before we submit our dossier (which is a little while away) I guess we shall see.

Friday, July 22, 2011

I love a bargain!

Although I haven't gotten involved in the extreme couponing craze, I still do love getting stuff at a really good price. (I would love to do the couponing thing, but I never seem to find coupons for stuff we actually use....even if I got it for free, I don't see the point) Today was a good day!

Vlado and I had just taken Honey lunch and then we went to get Vlado's passport. :) That's a whole other post in itself. Anyway, just as I was getting close to the interstate to go home, I had the idea to go to a local liquidation center (I think that is what it's called) to see what they had. Once, they had mousse and hairspray for 10/$1. I got all the mousse they had (that wasn't broken) and some hairspray and spent $3 it lasted me almost 4 years!! The last time I went, they had bags of taco sized tortillas 10/$1. They were expiring at the end of that month.....I just put them in the freezer! So, back to today. The first thing I saw was gallon size bags full of "goodies." From what I could see, there were granola bars, fruit snack packs, cookies, etc. There was a sign "Buy one get one free" so I couldn't help myself. I rooted around and found 2 bags that were $2.99 each and put them in my basket. It looked like stuff from boxes that had probably been torn open or something so they just combined them with other snack stuff. Then I went into the "pharmacy" area and they had goodnights (which Vlado just happened to need). I saw a 33-pack in his size for $8.50. But behind it, there was another 33-pack (his size) marked down to $7.15. There was nothing wrong with it....looking back on it, I should have grabbed both packs and asked why one was cheaper to see if they would have given me both for the same price, but I didn't. :( Down another isle, they had chocolate chips and peanut butter chips for $1. And yet another isle, hamburger helper was buy one get one free. So, all in all, I spent $16.27 and this is what I got. To put it in perspective, the goodnights alone would have cost $23.99 or so at the store! So, this is all that I got...and everything was a brand name (and in date, trust me, I looked!)

2 boxes hamburger helper
2 bags hersheys chocolate chips
2 bags reeces peanut butter chips
1 33 ct goodnights
(the rest is from the snack bags)
1 small box raisins
3 packages of m&m's cookies
4 small packs of biscotti (not sure if I spelled that right)
2 packs of melba toast (no idea why that was there)
15 packs fruit snacks
6 fruit roll ups
29 granola bars
5 nut & granola packs (they are called breakfast on the go)

Saturday, July 16, 2011

First fundraiser

I hate asking for help. I know I have said that before. The thing is...adoption isn't cheap!

We are adopting from a different country than we did last time and this new adoption is going to end up costing about $10,000 more than the last one. All in all, we are looking at around $25,000 to bring this little girl home.

I am a strong believer in the blessing of adoption. I do not dare say that everyone should adopt. But you don't have to adopt to help orphaned children. We are adopting our child through an adoption ministry called Reece's Rainbow. They are a not for profit ministry that matches orphaned children with special needs with families. Making a donation to our adoption would be tax deductible. If you go here and click donate, you would be instrumental in helping us bring our girl home. $25,000 is a lot of money. If you break it down, it seems more doable. :)

  • 250 $100 bills or
  • 500 $50 bills or
  • 1250 $20 bills or
  • 2500 $10 bills or
  • 5000 $5 bills or
  • 25,000 $1 bills or
  • 100,000 quarters
  • 250,000 dimes
  • 500,000 nickles
  • 2,500,000 pennies

Any donation would be humbly accepted! Now, if someone had 500,000 cans/bottles they would like to donate...that would fund us. That brings me to our first fundraiser. Oh, how I would love to think that this fundraiser would do it and it would bring in enough to fully fund us, but I am doubtful....but it is a start! If you are interested, go and check it out!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Whys...part 1

When we tell people we have adopted and are adopting again, we have received a few questions. Here are some of the most common and my attempt at answers (sometimes I have problems getting my thoughts out in a way that makes sense to others)

1. Can you not have your own children? / Why did you adopt?
I do not get offended by this question because I share too much information anyway. (If you know me in real life, you are probably laughing at that understatement) Having bio kids for us is questionable. If it were to happen, we would be happy. But as of yet, it hasn't and we haven't been trying to prevent it. I do have a couple anatomical abnormalities that might prevent me from getting/staying pregnant, but I have never had a doctor say, "You will never have biological kids." We adopted because we wanted to be parents...plain and simple.

2. Why did you adopt from Serbia?
We adopted from Serbia because that is where Vlado was. God spoke to my heart the first time that I saw his picture. I didn't know it at the time, but God was whispering that Vlado was my son. All the details worked out in a way that could have only been God. So many huge obstacles were overcome and I give all glory to my Heavenly Father! *To be honest, I always thought my kids would come from Ukraine!

3. Why aren't you adopting from the US?
I'm not going to debate the fact that there are hundreds of thousands of children in the US foster care system. I dealt with the "system" for a while many years ago when I was in a previous marriage. I know that kids in foster care don't have it great. I know that they (even after they are removed from their bio parents) often do not have anyone to rely on. I applaud those people who have been able to adopt children from foster care, but it is not as easy as most people think. I will leave it at that. Once again....I am not going to debate this. So, if you want to comment to that effect, please don't because I will be forced to delete it!

4. You haven't been home long. Why are you adopting again so soon?
When we were in Serbia, we were blessed to be able to visit the baby house where Vlado lived for the first 4 years of his life. We were thankful! But our hearts were broken. There were so many children there and it was so very strange to think about the fact that these children LIVED THERE! I have worked at so many daycare centers in my life and, at first glance, an orphanage is just like that. But then you come back to reality and see that these children have no one. Yes, some of the caretakers care about the children. But they don't have time to give them a nice long warm bath and snuggle them before bed. They don't have time to read them a bedtime story and kiss their forehead. Vlado's baby house was a good one, but it still wasn't a family. We knew when we saw all those children that we would adopt again.....and we wouldn't take our time. Many of the special needs kids don't have the option for us to take our time! Which brings me to the next question.

5. Why special needs kids?
It is no secret that I have a LOVE for Reece's Rainbow kids. When I found Reece's Rainbow back in 2007, I didn't know that years later, my children would be listed there. I didn't start out thinking, "What a great thing to adopt special needs kids?" when I first contemplated adoption. No, I wanted a child or two as young as possible with only "mild or correctable conditions." But then I began to realize (after looking at the many waiting kids) that these were just children. They didn't ask to have special needs. They didn't ask to be abandoned. They didn't ask to be looked at as a lesser person. They were just children....who happened to have some special need. Our children chose us....their special needs are secondary. I mean, how could you say no to either one of our kids. :) They are gorgeous!

I just realized that this post has become quite lengthy. I will have to continue on a different day. Trust me, there are many more questions. :)

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Bonding

This post has been bouncing around in my head for a couple weeks and I debated if I should share it. But, I felt like I really needed to. I can't believe that I'm the only one who needs to *hear* it.

Adopting an older child is different. Many times, it's difficult. Many times, it's wonderful. Our older kids have developed so many coping skills. Some of these kids learn how to build up walls so that nobody can get close. Getting them to tear down their barriers and let people in is a painstaking process. You can see right at first that there is a bonding issue. Then you have other kids (like mine) who have learned how to charm. They have developed a knack for wrapping everyone around their finger. These kids easily give out hugs and kisses and say cutesie things that make everyone laugh. But their bonding and attachment is just as big an issue as the kids who won't let anyone in.

When Vlado first came home, we tried to make him understand that it wasn't good to kiss everyone. (He didn't hug many people at first) High fives were common. The people at school were good with the physical affection thing too. (Insert more high fives). I thought we were doing really well with bonding. I mean, he knows we are his Mama and Daddy. I really believe school helped with that. He learned that the other kids had grown ups that came to get them at the end of the day and we were his. He looks to us for help when he needs it and will readily climb up into our laps to snuggle.

He doesn't hug me often (unless I initiate it), but he does hug all of our co-workers and some other people we know. I didn't really think much about it. But, the other day at the grocery store, I had a little eye opener. Vlado went up to a total stranger (she was kneeling down to get something) and hugged her and kissed her cheek. She thought it was adorable, but my heart sank. People around us just don't understand that this is a bad thing. And his communication isn't at the point that I can explain to him why it isn't good to trust just anyone. We are back to the point that hugs and kisses are reserved for me and Honey. I am afraid of offending people who have grown to love Vlado, but truly, my son's attachment to us is paramount right now. We should be beyond this at almost 7 months home, but it is my fault that I wasn't as diligent as I should have been. Back to the drawing board. :(

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

I wonder....

*This post is entirely too honest! I might get myself in trouble here. :(

When Honey and I decided to adopt again, I brought up the prospect of adopting 2. I thought it would be nice to complete our family with one more adoption process. We have decided that 3 kids will be it. (I know a lot of people have their minds changed about their families being complete, but that's for a different time.) So, anyway, tonight I was looking at the kids available in Baby Sister's orphanage/city and there was a new addition. This new little girl's profile almost exactly mirrors Vlado's profile when he was listed with RR. It was strange reading the same information on a different child. Now, here's the interesting part. Honey really feels connected to this new little girl. She turned 4 in February. Honey feels more connected to her than Baby Sister. He connects to personality in pictures and it's just so difficult to get a little baby to show personality. I'm sure Baby Sister was not so sure about someone with a camera in her face. It was probably a first for her and I'm sure she was a little fearful. Hence, she wasn't all smiley. I feel connected to both, but I'm scared that Honey is going to change his mind about our Baby girl. Oh, my....Lord, please calm my mind. I just pray that Honey says, "Let's just get both of them."

Friday, June 24, 2011

I'm not good at this

I have never been good at asking for help. I have always been an, "I can do it myself" type of girl. (I probably drove my mom nuts when I was a kid!) But with this adoption, I do need a little help! Adoption isn't cheap...and unlike birthing a child, there isn't insurance to pick up any of the cost.

A few years ago, (on another blog), I wrote the following.

What would you do? I ask again, what would you do?? What would you do if you knew your child had been taken and put in a place where he/she didn't have much food, had to share clothes with many other children, didn't have toys, didn't have anyone to cuddle him/her, etc.? You found out that to get your child back, you had to somehow come up with $25,000. And all this is legal. What would you do?

I'm sure most (if not all) of the parents out there would respond that they would do anything to get them back. Would you pick up cans and bottles on the side of the road to get the pennies they are worth? Would you make crafts and try to sell them at craft fairs? Would you ask your family and friends to donate money? Would you apply for any grant you could find for that little extra money? Would you have a lawn sale and sell anything you could think of? For me and Honey the resounding answer is YES!!!

The only difference is that we haven't met our child yet. The fact that she does not have our genes does not make her any less our daughter. We know she is there and we are here. There are 2 trips required to her country which adds more airfare. Also, her country is a Hague country (we are not complaining about this...it is a good thing), but there are many more requirements that again cost more money. This adoption is going to cost about 10k more than our adoption of Vlado. I am going to be crafting like a mad woman over the next few months and pray that my stuff sells this fall. If you have any ideas of good fundraisers we can do....we are all ears!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

We're doing it again!

Just a couple weeks after we got home with Vlado, Honey told me that he thought we needed to adopt another child. At that point, I thought he was nuts! The first month or so after we got back was full of testing and downright defiance. We are so thankful it only lasted a month! :)

Well, the last couple months, I have had terrible baby fever. We had thought about doing some additional fertility things, but we knew it wouldn't work. There are a couple medical issues (with me) but the doctor told me that there "might be a chance" I could have a baby. Something in my heart knows though that I will never have a bio baby and (most days) I am ok with that. I have been scanning the pictures on Reece's Rainbow like a crazy person lately. I requested info on a little girl about a month ago. I even printed out her medical and took it to Vlado's pediatrician to see what he thinks. She is also in Eastern Europe but (like before), I can't disclose exactly where.
What I can tell you is that she is not from the same country as our Little Man. It is probably going to take about a year (over estimating, I hope) to get her home. We are so excited to introduce you to Baby Sister. (I know you all are gonna hate me, but I'm not going to share her name just yet.) Isn't she beautiful?!





Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day

I have to say Happy Father's Day to my Daddy...you were such an amazing example to me growing up of a loving father! And to my wonderful hubby......you have shown Vlado what having a Daddy is all about. You rough house with him, cuddle him on your lap, and show him daily how a husband should treat his wife! I know you questioned your ability as a father before we brought home our son, but I hope you have started to realize that you are so wonderful and being a Daddy has come so naturally for you. I know you will continue to grow and become even more wonderful as we add other little ones.


Saturday, June 18, 2011

More vacation fun!

Day 2 at the Big Water was not quite as scary for our Little Man! When he first got up, he asked to go back down to the beach. Actually, the exact wording was, "Big water??" This time, he didn't seem scared at all. He ran in the shallow water, kicked water in the air (giggling the whole time) and just had a good time. Later in the day, we went to a town not far from where we stayed. We first went to a small arcade. Vlado tried to play some of the games but they weren't really geared toward kids his age. We found a helicopter "ride" that went up and down and since he loves all things aeronautical, we decided to put him on it. He wasn't a fan. It was a little too scary going up into the air. Lunch was pretty good....we went to the coast and had Mexican food. LOL! We knew there was lobster on the horizon. In another part of the town, they had a pretty good sized zoo and entertainment area with rides and games. We were a little nervous putting him on rides with his reaction to the helicopter. Boy did he fool us! He had a blast on the rides. He did pretty good at the zoo too! He was much more interested in the animals that he was when we went to the zoo in Serbia. He got to feed goats and deer and ducks. He did it like he had done it a gazillion times. We are loving watching him with new experiences.





You can see the difference in his body language. No more fear!













I LOVE this picture! He looks like he is deep in thought.....actually this is one of the few times he stood still for me to get a good picture. :)












Pure joy!












Friday, June 17, 2011

Big water!

Honey, Vlado and I went to the ocean for vacation! We only had a few days but thankfully we don't live that far. A short 4 hour drive and we could smell the salty air. :) Our hotel was just a short walk from the beach so we decided to saunter down so Vlado could get his first view. As we walked down, he was his normal chatty self. We got down to the beach and took our shoes off. Vlado looked out at the ocean and said, "BIG water!" He was terrified of it at first. He would only go into the water if I had hold of one hand and Honey had the other. He still squealed every time a wave would splash against his legs. Eventually, he started walking along the edge of the water. He is at the point that he is starting to explore independence. We know that it is a good thing....he is about at the point a 3 or 4 year old would be. The only problem is that he will walk ahead without looking back very often. If we didn't tell him to slow down or come back, he would have walked a mile ahead. But he seems to know that we won't let him get too far and that's a good thing. He never did get the hang of picking up shells...I guess that will take time.





Yes, he is skipping. LOL! And yes, I put him in pink water shoes. I had them at the house and I knew he wouldn't notice one way or another.














Can you see the nerves on his face? He was trying to be brave, but his face gives it away.












He also decided that chasing sea gulls is a lot of fun. A stranger came up to us and said, "That's the best thing for him...just being around nature and being a boy." Little did she know how right she was. :)

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Sometimes I forget

Sometimes it is really easy to forget how emotionally fragile our kids are...especially the ones who have had it really tough. Last night was one of those nights that I am reminded big time! Our power went out last night around 11pm because of a storm. At about 11:30, I decided to just go to bed. I checked in on Vlado like I do every night and found him on his knees on the bed rocking back and forth. I called his name and he didn't respond...he just kept rocking. I went over and put my hand on his back. I had to literally pull him into my lap to get the rocking to stop. I held him like a baby for a few minutes and told him it was ok. He laid down and I laid beside him and I could see his eyes were as wide as saucers. He looked absolutely terrified. I decided to bring him into our room to see if he would calm down. He was very confused and just kept looking around. I asked him if he wanted to go back to his bed and he got up and raced back to his room. Ten minutes later, he was crying. I went back in and he was up sitting on his pillow staring at the corner muttering. The only thing I understood was, "clean up." He would shake his head and whimper. I HAD to get him out of his room because it was something in there that was freaking him out. When I took him back to our bed, he was better. He somewhat rested for about an hour but he was still sweating (he sweats so much when he is nervous or anxious). I felt pretty powerless. By this time (around 1am), the power had come back on. I took him back to his bed and turned on his fish night light. It is so bright that it lights the whole room....but it was enough for him to relax and we didn't hear anything else from him. I wish I knew why he was scared but he doesn't have enough communication skills to tell me. And I wish I would have been enough to soothe him when he was scared. He has been through so much.....maybe it's good I don't know everything, but I wish I knew how to help. :(

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Garden time

We put our vegetable garden in today. It was quite a feat. We have quite a large garden and we really want to use all available space to get the largest crop of veggies. We ended up planting a bunch of tomatoes again this year. I am almost out of spaghetti sauce, tomato soup and soup base (this is a rather thin tomato sauce that I use for the base for chili and veggie soup). I still have a bit of salsa as we didn't really care for the recipe from last year. This year should be better because Honey got me a pressure canner for Christmas last year...so I don't have to worry about adding so much lemon juice to get the right acidity for canning. We have 6 broccoli plants but I might go get some more because we have room for 2 more rows. We are gonna try corn again even though we didn't get a single ear last year (stupid crows!). Beans, peppers, a watermelon plant and various squash round out the space.

I remember last year when we were weeding and pulling rocks, I said to Honey, "I can't wait until Vladan is here so he can be the one pulling rocks." Today, in our garden, our son WAS the one pulling rocks. :) It was amazing to think that just one year ago, he wasn't here, but now he is. And he had so much more fun throwing rocks than I did last year. LOL!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

The journey

The journey to enough craft fair stuff begins with one stitch, right? The other day, I found myself having an internal dialog with myself (LOL, that is redundant, huh?) It went something like this.

  • I wish I could have $20,000 worth of stuff for my craft fairs. It would make some things so much easier.
  • Well...how much do you have?
  • Um, nothing really.
  • OK, how much have you made today?
  • Um, nothing.
  • Then how can you complain that you won't have enough? You might not have $20,000 worth, but if you don't do anything....YOU WON'T HAVE ANYTHING!
  • But I don't have time.
  • Don't give me that! Just stop playing POGO!
I'm glad that most people can't hear my thoughts. They would seriously think I am nuts! So, even though I feel pretty crappy today, I am going to do some crafting. Vlado is doing some fusible beads things now. Do you think that I can sell those as ornaments at my fair? Maybe I should bring him with me to the fairs....his cuteness might sell more. :)

Friday, May 27, 2011

I guess it's not a virus

About a week and a half ago, I started getting sick. I have asthma so I get respiratory infections more often than most. Honey told me I needed to go to the doctor....I said I was fine. So, I waited and waited...hoping and praying that I would just get better. I finally broke yesterday and went to the doctor. Diagnosis? Pneumonia. I know...I should have just listened to my husband. (He's not letting me forget that!) I would be happy at this point if I would just stop coughing. Sleeping is nearly impossible when you are hacking your lungs out. Vlado has a cough too, but he has not had a fever or acted sick at all. I think his is mostly allergies....Zyrtec seems to help him sleep. Let's hope that my antibiotic kicks pneumonia's butt and I can work next week. Gotta save all the money I can right now! :)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

6 months

Today marks 6 months that I have officially been a mom. Six months ago, in Pozeravac, Serbia, the minister of adoption decreed that Vlado's name was Vladan Breen and Honey and I were his parents. He has changed so much in such a short time.

When we met him...
  • He was still in diapers
  • He only spoke 3 small phrases in Serbian (I don't want, Let's go, and It doesn't work)
  • He was so easily overwhelmed
  • He wanted nothing to do with toys
  • He would scream when upset and quite often would hit himself
  • He wandered around (as if in his own world) most of the time
  • He would seek out the dog at the foster home to kick or hit it
  • He had no color...he was so pale!
  • He had no idea what a Mama and Papa was
  • We were told he couldn't learn
And 6 months later....
  • He is almost 100% potty trained although we are still working on overnight dryness.
  • He knows so many words! He can ask for things and is obsessed with knowing what everything is called.
  • He adapts to new situations so easily now. He takes things in instead of getting overwhelmed.
  • He is still learning how to play. But leggos are his favorite now! He can play with them for hours.
  • He doesn't scream even when he is mad. And he NEVER hits himself. (He tries at school sometimes because they give him the attention he is seeking for it...at home, he doesn't even try)
  • He doesn't have time to wander aimlessly now. He's too busy exploring.
  • He LOVES his dog! They are the ultimate "boy and his dog"
  • He has pink cheeks and so much more energy. And he has grown about 2 inches.
  • His eyes light up when we pick him up from school. He now knows that I am his Mama and Honey is his Papa!
  • He has been going to school since January. He loves numbers and the teacher said he has a "math mind." He read a small book in front of his class the other day. He knows all his colors and shapes. He has around 50 sight words that he knows and can write them.
I'm sure I'm missing a ton of other differences. It's just hard to think of them now because how he is, is just how he is. He grows everyday and has learned so much! We were told that he was borderline moderately mentally delayed. When he was tested last week....it was estimated that he is of normal intelligence and is just delayed because of his lack of stimulation. He might have to repeat 1st grade next year, but they are thinking he will be completely caught up in no time. :)






This was the first day we met him. This might look like a smile, but all I see is nerves. He was trying to be happy.














This is him just a couple weeks ago on our way to visit his Grandparents. This is total joy smile. We were getting ready to board the ferry and he was soooooooooooo excited about being on a boat! :)

Saturday, May 14, 2011

I think he watches me

Today we were getting ready to go take lunch to Honey at work. I told Vlado to get his shoes on and I went upstairs to get dressed. He said, "lunch!" I told him that we were going to get lunch when we went to see Papa. When I came downstairs, the fridge door was open as was the pantry door. He had pulled his lunchbox out of his backpack and was packing it. He had pulled a juice box and clementine out of the fridge. He had also taken a muffin out of the muffin container and was climbing up in the pantry to get a plastic bag to put it in. I just watched him. He got the bread down and took out 2 slices....went to the fridge and got the mayo and a piece of cheese. He got a butter knife and put mayo on the bread. He couldn't figure out how to open the cheese so I did help him with that. But other than that...he did the whole thing himself. I also make up snack bags that have some pretzels or chips and a small cookie in it. He made sure to grab one of those too. It amazes me how independent he is becoming. When we first brought him home, if you gave him a snack that needed opening but didn't open it, he would just look at it. Now, not only is he opening things....he's getting them for himself. It was so cute as he was looking inside the box to make sure everything was there. He managed to remember everything that normally goes in his lunchbox. Then he shut it and said, "Go?" I was so very proud! :)

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy happy day!

Today was my first Mother's Day! Last Mother's Day wasn't as sad as so many before because we were in the process to bring our Little Man home! :) It really seems that (for me) situational depression lessons if I am actually doing something to make it better. Since I was doing something to make me a Mama.....I wasn't so upset that I wasn't one yet. (Did that make sense to anyone but me?) Anyway, I AM a Mama now so I finally got to enjoy Mother's Day.

Honey let me sleep as long as I wanted today! When I got up (at 10 - oh my word!) Honey had Vlado come sit with me. He said something to Vlado (I don't remember exactly what) but Vlado looked at me and said, "Happy Mama Day!" Oh my heart about burst! Tears immediately sprang to my eyes but somehow he knew that I wasn't sad. He got a big smile on his face and I squeezed him so tight. Then, I got to have pizza and ice cream for breakfast. :) That is my ultimate! I got a sweet card too. Honey made it online (although it is from Vlado). On the front is a picture of me and Vlado that Honey took in Serbia. Beside the picture it says

Mama! Thanks for finding me and bringing me home. I always knew you were coming. Who is coming next? :)
Needless to say....there were more tears. I also was given a pretty figurine of a Mama holding her little one. Later that day, they took me to lunch. Vlado had a surprise for all of us. As we were sitting there, the waitress came up and asked us what we wanted to drink. Vlado said, "Apple juice!" She apologized to him and told him they didn't have apple juice but told him what they did have. He changed his choice to "Orange juice!" We were very proud that he ordered his drink. When she came back to ask us if we had made our decision on what to eat, he told her that he wanted a "Hot dog!" If you remember back to November, he was almost completely non-verbal. 5 months later, he is able (and has the confidence to) order for himself in a restaurant. This waitress did not know him, but he spoke clearly enough that she knew what he was saying.....and because he used his words, he got to have exactly what he wanted for lunch! He's growing up before my eyes!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

I suck at blogging sometimes

I'm sorry for my disappearance yet again. I have been working a ton of hours at work (might as well get the hours while they are available) and then I have Vlado at night. I am NOT complaining about that fact because it is what I wanted for so long. He is finally learning to be more independent which is amazing to watch. He was treated like a baby all his life before us....and when he finally came to live with us full-time, he didn't exactly like the fact that we had him do some things for himself. Now, don't get me wrong, he still knows that we are here to do things that he can't. But he CAN do some things and is learning that it is fun being able. He can dress himself, get his breakfast (take his yogurt out of the fridge, grab a banana, get his cup so I can pour juice), put the clean silverware away, help load the dishwasher, put away his clean clothes, and there are just so many other things he is learning to do. He LOVES to help. If we are doing something, you can see his little mind working trying to figure out what he can do. When we first came home, one of Honey's sisters sent Vlado a step stool. That stool gets used everyday. When we first brought him home, he was so afraid to climb up on anything. He was afraid of so much! Now, if he sees something he wants (or needs) that is too high, he will go find his stool so he can get up to get it. Then he gets this satisfied smile that he was able to get what he wanted without help. I LOVE this boy! Over the next few days, I'm going to go back and fill in things we have done recently. I am going to actually date them like I had written them on the days they happened. So, feel free to read older days. They will be between April 1 and today....but there won't be one for everyday. LOL! And I will actually add pictures.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Last day at Mimi and Papaw's house

My brother's family had to get back home because the kids were not on school vacation. So, t0day, Vlado had Mimi and Papaw completely to himself. :) He LOVES attention so he was quite the happy camper. To top it off, my mom hadn't sent most of Vlado's Christmas presents at Christmas time. So, he had presents to open. He didn't like the whole opening presents thing at Christmas this year, but he seemed to enjoy it today. He got tons of toys, but his favorite (by far) was his calculator. I swear, he is obsessed with numbers! He spent hours on my parents' laps just typing away on the calculator and repeating the numbers. At one point, he started with putting in the number 500. Then he erased that number and put 501. He continued erasing and putting in the next number until he was at 600+ (I don't remember the exact number). My mom was kind of shocked the he could do the numbers in order and even if you interrupted him, he remembered where he had left off.

When Honey is bothering Vlado, he will say (in a most exasperated voice), "Please, Papa!" My dad was messing around with him today and he said, "Please......Man!" He couldn't remember what he was supposed to call my dad, so he just called him man. LOL!

My mom was pretty shocked that Vlado will still eat whatever we give him. His lunch today was a cheese sandwich, carrots, and a spoonful of cold baked beans. He chowed down. He truly will eat everything....except pineapple. I'm not sure why, but he really doesn't like pineapple, although he's not a huge fan of guacamole either. Gotta love this kid!



Sunday, April 17, 2011

He has family!

Vlado did pretty well in the hotel. He did wake up kind of disoriented at around 1am and was crying. Thankfully, I was able to calm him down pretty quickly (I gave him my silky and he went right back to sleep).

He was quite excited when we got back to my parents' house the next morning. Once again, he marched himself right up the steps and opened the door. I am normally a late riser so the fact that we walked through the door at around 9am kind of shocked my mom. The girls were just getting up, but I guess my nephew usually gets up pretty early so all the grownups were awake. The boys were immediately together. They did very well together. Honey brought out his iPad2 and the boys played angry birds. They were adorable because one would play and the other one would watch...and then they would switch. They did so well sharing and taking turns. It might not sound like a big deal....but this is something that Vlado doesn't do too well with yet. In several ways, he is still very much a toddler. But on this day, with his cousin, he seemed to grow. Both of the boys are very much into electronics and it was cute to see them playing together. It was good to see everyone because it had been around 9 months since I saw any of them. They were all very taken with our Little Man! :)

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Off to Grandma's house

Vlado has school vacation this week so we decided it was a good time for him to meet his grandparents (Mimi and Papaw) in the mountains. When we were packing up and getting ready to go, Vlado asked, "Airplane?" It was then I realized that the last time we traveled with him was when we brought him home. We found it sweet that he remembered this and thought that whenever we pack up.....we would be going on an airplane. I think he was a little sad when we told him no airplane, just the car. We were a little worried about the potty stuff since it is a 14 hour drive so we put him in a pullup for the trip. I am happy to report that he stayed dry the entire trip. Of course, we did have to stop every hour and a half or so because I have a small bladder. LOL! He became a pro pretty quickly though and figured out what rest stops were for. He had another first too today. He road a ferry for the first time. You can see from the pics that he LOVED it! We arrived at my parents' house at 11:30pm (the ride actually ended up being a little longer than normal because of rain). My brother and his family had driven over for the weekend so they could meet Vlado too. So, after 15+ hours of driving, you would think that he would have been a grump and just interested in sleep. Well, you would be wrong. He walked into my parents' house like he had been there a million times. He came in and got on the floor with the other kids and proceeded to play with matchbox cars. We have tried to get him interested in cars a bunch of times, and he wanted nothing to do with them. But, when you have cousins who want to play with you...I guess it is ok. :) I don't have any pics of him this first night. I had left my camera in the car. My dad took a few pics, but he hasn't sent them to me yet. We weren't there long because Honey and I were exhausted. But we were so excited to see Vlado meet some of his family!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Day 5

A song that means a lot to you

I have to be honest....this changes regularly. I LOVE music and especially country music. At this moment, the song that means the most to me is the newest song by Rascal Flatts called "I Won't Let Go." It really reminds me of God's love for us and how He loves and supports in what He calls us to do.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Day 4

A weird hobby or collection

I don't really have a weird hobby. I used to collect things when I was a kid, but not too much anymore. The only thing I really try to collect is magnets from everywhere we have been. Our fridge is littered with so many different magnets (and we really try to vary the type of magnet we get) to represent our travels. My favorites are a Texas shaped magnet with a scorpion in it (from San Antonio - we got engaged at the Alamo), a pretty lighthouse from Mystic, CT, and of course.....one we bought in Serbia that is Vlado's name in Cyrillic.

I'm not sure if that counts as weird. Honey does have a collection of antique mortar/pestles (he's a pharmacist so that's not really weird either).

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Day 3

Photos from your wedding





Well, since we got married in our living room, there aren't a ton of pics. These are the ones I have though. We had both been married before so we didn't want to have a big production of a wedding. Our living room was the perfect option. And this was our wonderful justice of the peace that was willing to come to our house to marry us. We only had one guest....he is the one who took the pics. :) Of course, I have to include the obligatory kissing pic.


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Day 2

Take a photo of a random part of your day and tell about it.




This picture was taken not too long after we got home with Vlado. But it is still part of almost everyday. We were a little worried how Vlado would be with our dog since we saw him be not so nice to the dog at his foster home. (He regularly sought out the dog to kick or smack it) But he and Bailey are best buddies! So much of their time is spent playing together and I love it!

LOL! And I'm sure you see my Diet Dr Pepper bottles....yes there are 2 bottles on my coffee table. But I'm sure I only drank one that day. :)

Monday, March 28, 2011

Day 1

Meaning behind my blog name

I think it is pretty self explanatory. This blog was created to chronicle our adoption story and then life afterward. I do know that Vlado had a story before he came to us. So, I don't want anyone fussing at me for saying that his story didn't start until he got here. But, to be honest, he didn't have much of a life before he came to us. A child is hard pressed to have any normal childhood living in an orphanage and at the foster home.....most of his time was spent in the play room just being. I'm torn with knowing that he will probably not remember any of his life before us. It is probably good that he doesn't remember the bad, but I wish he could remember the good.

But, if nothing else.....Home is where OUR story started and where it continues everyday.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Blog Challenge - Day 0

A fellow adopter/blog friend, Shelley, has decided to do a blog challenge. Me (being the copy-cat that I am) decided to join her in the adventure. I have been such a slacker at posting on my blog since we came home with Vlado. Hopefully this will kick me back into gear so I will post more regularly. :)

She took several blog challenges and made her own. This is the list of what I will be blogging about for the next month.

Day 0: The 30 Day Challenge Explanation and Description
Day 1: Meaning behind your blog name
Day 2: Take a photo of a random part of your day and tell us about it
Day 3: Photos from your wedding
Day 4: A weird hobby or collection
Day 5: A song that means a lot to you
Day 6: A random picture that makes you happy
Day 7: Favorite books
Day 8: A place you've traveled to
Day 9: Your favorite quote
Day 10: Something you're afraid of
Day 11: TV shows that your currently addicted to
Day 12: Something you don't leave the house without
Day 13: A photo that makes you laugh
Day 14: A website you love to visit
Day 15: Share a Bible verse

Day 16: Describe your dream house
Day 17: What’s in your purse?
Day 18: Photos from around your town
Day 19: Something you miss
Day 20: Nicknames
Day 21: Favorite Movies
Day 22: Share the oldest photo that’s saved on your computer
Day 23: Something you fear
Day 24: A photo of somewhere beautiful
Day 25: 3 things you hope to accomplish by the end of the year
Day 26: Something that stresses you out
Day 27: Your favorite poem
Day 28: A photo of the inside of your car
Day 29: 5 things you are thankful for
Day 30: a picture from today


Thursday, March 10, 2011

I don't want to forget this

This is one of those stories that Vlado will HATE when he gets older....but I really don't want to forget it. ;)

Honey has a little stuffed dog on his chair that has a pocket that hangs over the side to hold remote controls or TV guides...stuff like that. The dog is primarily tan but has a brown tail and brown ears. A while ago, Vlado was pointing to the different parts of the dog naming them. He pointed to the eyes and said eyes, to the ears and said ears, to the tongue and said mouth...then he pointed to the tail and said, "Go poop!" Oh my word!! Honey and I tried to control our laughter, but it was impossible. Thankfully, whenever someone laughs, Vlado laughs too.

Can you tell we are working on potty training around here?

Thursday, March 3, 2011

He made a joke!

I know this is going to sound goofy, but it made me so happy!!

This past week, Vlado was on vacation from school. During the week we worked (pretty intensely) on a few things. One of them was asking for things...ie, "May I have..." and he would fill in the blanks. His aide at school was very impressed at this development and said that it has helped with things at school because he now knows how to get what he wants. :)

Tonight as I was tucking him into bed (after we were done with his book and kisses and "night nights") he smiled and said "May I have the nintendo?" I laughed and said "No, it's time for sleep." He giggled and said it again...knowing he wouldn't get it and just being silly. For a child who had virtually no communication skills when we got him, I thought this was HUGE! In essence, this was the first actual conversation I have had with my son. And he had the ability to understand and respond like an average child (without speech delays)

I have giggled every time I have thought about it. Our little boy is finding his silly side and is realizing that communicating is kinda fun. :)

Friday, February 25, 2011

When we were there

I am sad to admit that when Honey and I were in Europe, we did not enjoy our experience like we should have. :( Neither of us had ever been anywhere.....I mean other than Canada and Mexico (the part of Mexico you go on vacation) and other places on a cruise. But those places aren't really different. Those other countries, or the parts that Americans normally go to, are so "Americanized" that we don't feel the culture. I didn't truly grasp the concept of culture shock until we were in another country.....thousands of miles from home.

First of all, we were exhausted. We had decent flights and our layovers weren't too long, but neither of us had slept well in almost a week. Nerves do that to ya. :) On the way to our apartment, our facilitator told us what she had learned from Vlado's most recent medical. He had regressed and was more delayed than before. She also told us that he had started hitting himself when he would get frustrated. With our tired state and our nerves....this freaked us out! We spent the night worrying about what we had gotten ourselves into.

Our facilitator took us around the city a bit after we got there to help us get some food. We were both craving something familiar...anything familiar. We ended up coming back to the apartment with some eggs, bread, water...and a few specialty items that J said we needed to try. :) For dinner, Honey ended up having a hard boiled egg sandwich. He had wanted a fried egg sandwich, but somehow, I missed the drawer that held all the pots and pans so I used a coffee pot (metal) to boil up some eggs. This was just the beginning of our food woes during the trip.

I have to say that now that I've been home for a while, I realize that I was a baby while there. I was just so emotionally overwhelmed with everything that I didn't take time to enjoy our son's culture and country. We saw many things (forts, zoos, churches) and I enjoyed them....but I didn't soak it in. I am ashamed to admit this! There is another family there now and when I read about their experience....I am jealous. I wish I would have let myself experience it like they are. They will come home with so many wonderful memories. And the worst part is that I know that it is my own fault.

So, to future adoptive parents.....I beg you.....when you are in your child's country, enjoy it! I know that is easier said than done, but unless you plan to adopt again, chances are you will never see your child's country again. When you get home, there will be things that you wished you had done or seen or eaten. LOL! We brought home some food stuff that I have rationed. I bought some chips (ketchup flavored ones were my favorite) and we just ate the last of them last week. I also bought a bag and season thing for chicken and it was amazing! Oh, how I wish I would have bought more of those! The last thing that we have here are soup packets....kind of like really big oodles of noodles soups. I haven't made any yet, but the girls Honey works with that are from that area said they are delicious!

If/when we go again....I am going to be prepared. I am going to make myself realize this is a special occurance and home will come quick enough. I will let myself enjoy the sights, sounds, tastes and experiences. And I will be happy to have the opportunity!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Why it's painful

This post of for those of you that haven't been there...the ones who haven't "done that." I hope it makes you understand just a little bit of my heart.

The pain I'm talking about doesn't really have to do with adoption, but at the same time has EVERYTHING to do with adoption. It isn't about the pain one experiences when they are going through the seemingly non-ending paperwork process. It's also not the pain of waiting, once everything is done, to get your travel date. Or the process in country (although that is a whole other post I've been trying to compose). It's not even the pain of parenting an older child. (Luckily, our experience has been very mild compared to some)

This pain is all consuming. It is caused by the knowledge of all the children who are left behind. It is caused when we know that we want to adopt again but can't get peace about any specific child. It is the haunting eyes I see in my sleep begging me to choose them. When we were at the orphanage, child after child came up to us and raised their arms to us. They weren't just begging to be picked up...they were begging to belong to someone. They didn't know us, but they wanted us to take them away. And this orphanage was one of the good ones! The ladies who work there truly care for the kids. They have doctors on staff that work with the children for physical therapy. They are given good nutritious food. But no matter how good an orphanage is....it is in no way a good substitute for a family.

I know that I should be satisfied with our son...and in one way I am! He is amazing and so smart! He amazes us everyday with what he has learned and how much he loves to learn. When he snuggles in my lap and rests his head on my shoulder....my heart melts. But at the same time, we know that we have more room...more love....more of everything. And we know that our family isn't complete. Vlado NEEDS a sibling. But I know that we have to wait until God reveals to us who our next child is. I don't want to force the issue. I want my heart to leap like it did when I first saw Vlado's picture in July 2008. I want to know in my heart....THAT IS MY CHILD! Please, God.....show me quickly!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Too cute

Before I tell you the cute part of the story, let me give you a little background. When I was a little girl, I always slept with something silk. It probably started as a baby with a blanket that had a satin border....but as I got older, anything satiny would suffice. It was usually Mama's old slip or nightgown. Even as a teenager, when I would go to a friend's house for the night, I would bring my own pillow so I could put my *silky* in the pillowcase to be pulled out once everyone else was asleep. I just loved the feel of satin between my cheek and my pillow. I don't think anyone ever knew.

When I went to college, I decided I was too old to sleep with a silky anymore. But not long after I was there, I woke up one night from a bad dream. The only way I could get back to sleep was to pull out a slip from my dresser and sleep with that between my cheek and my pillow. Since I tell my mom pretty much everything, I told her about this embarrassing situation. She is the most amazing Mama and within a week of my telling her, I received a package from home. Inside was a satin pillowcase....pretty smart, huh? :) I slept with that pillowcase for years but somehow it got lost (probably during a move) a few years ago.

When Honey and I were living in the mountains, the house we rented had very flimsy blinds in the bedroom. I wake up pretty quickly when light comes in the room, so I had to figure out something. One morning (after the sun came pouring into our window at about 5am), I had had enough. I went to my dresser and pulled out the only black piece of clothing I owned....a slip. I put it over my eyes and ahhhhhh, darkness! But strangely, I fell right back into the habit of sleeping with a silky like I had never stopped....all night long, not just during the morning to block out the light. UGH! But the more I thought about it, why should I care? Yes, I am an adult and I shouldn't *need* a security blanket, but it is still very comforting and Honey doesn't mind. So, my silky is always there. Now to the cute part. :)

The other afternoon, Vlado was being quite the grump. So, I decided we needed a little nap. He very seldom actually takes a nap in the afternoon, but this day he REALLY needed one. So he didn't feel like he was being punished, I went with him and we slept in Mama and Papa's bed. At first, he was restless...tossing and turning and making sounds. For some reason, I put my silky on his chest. He immediately balled it up and rolled over on his side. The silky went between his cheek and the pillow and he was sleeping within 5 minutes. I had big tears in my eyes.....he's just like his Mama. :)

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Has it been a year?

Today is our anniversary....it's so hard to believe it has been a year since Honey and I tied the night right here at home. :) So much has changed since last year and the biggest change is sitting at his table enjoying his breakfast of yogurt and a banana.

This morning, Honey let me sleep in. I have had way too many migraines lately and I think it is from being over tired. So sleeping in was a wonderful gift! When I came downstairs, there was a package on my laptop. Now, we had agreed that we weren't getting each other gifts for our anniversary. We have been together for so many years that our actually marriage date isn't a huge deal. I know that sounds awful, but it was just a formality. We needed a piece of paper stating we were married to start the adoption process.

The gift was amazing! Honey had taken all the pictures we had from our adoption and had a book made at Shutterfly. I'm not sure how many of you have seen one of those....but it is an actual book. The picture on the front was one of Vlado on the first day we met him. The first pages were pictures we had been given when we first committed to adopting him....pictures of him when he was 3-4. The pictures weren't the best quality and turned out kind of fuzzy in the final product, but I was ok with that. It's kind of symbolic of his former life fading a bit. I had taken pictures of the airplanes we were on for our flights and of the flight boards showing our flights. He had even included pictures he took of our dossier package when he mailed it. There are pictures of his foster family and our adoption team.....and on and on. The picture on the back of the book is one taken of him once we were home. I bawled as I looked at it. Honey knows me so well!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

I guess I wasn't clear

What I am looking to do has nothing to do with my blog. It is something I want to be able to change (as necessary) as part of a craft project. I want to be able to customize it according to my need for different customers. I want to make a sort of photo sticker that is about 3 inches in diameter and looks similar to the sketch from my previous post. The pictures or graphics and text will be different on each finished product. If I knew the abilities and/or limitations of photo shop or one of the hundreds of other photo editing software....I might know how to do it. :( But sadly, I have never had or used any of those programs.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

I need help

This is not adoption related, but I do need help. I so wish I was computer savvy and knew how to create a type of art using pictures or graphics. It is really hard to explain what I want to do. This is a very rough sketch I made using paint on the computer.

I want the "button" to be about 3 inches in diameter. I want to be able to add a few pictures or small clip art graphics scattered around the inside of the button (like a sort of collage). And I want to be able to add text in the in between parts. Does that totally confuse you? I have searched the internet for hours looking for some sort of photo editing program that I could do this, but you can't look at all the features of a program without buying it. How am I supposed to know if I can do what I want to do with it? I don't want to buy a program that I'm not going to be able to use. I guess maybe I don't even know what keywords to use for my search. Any techie people out there able to help me??

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Do people think??

Today I worked while Papa stayed home with Vladan. Being the sweet man that he is, he brought me lunch. While he and Vladan were hanging out in the pharmacy, I waited on a lady. She asked Vladan if Santa brought him everything he wanted. He responded typically by repeating her question...although most can't really understand what he says. I explained that we just adopted him from Serbia and he is still working on English. We talked for a few more minutes about his age, if he lived in an orphanage...stuff like that. (It's amazing how many personal questions people feel it is their right to ask...but that's a different post) Anyway, while we were talking, another lady walked up and just listened. As the first lady was turning to leave she said, "You are going to Heaven." I responded, "I'm not going to Heaven for adopting." Then, wait for it.......The other lady said, "No, not for adopting one of those kids." I was shocked. I literally stood there with my jaw about an inch from the floor. I think she then realized that she actually said that out loud. She just turned and waved, "Bye, folks." I wanted to jump the counter and pound her. I am not a violent person, but she just insulted my child. And the whole time, he was quietly sitting on a chair playing with a calculator. What on earth did he do to her to deserve such disgust? It's probably a good thing that I was the one working. Otherwise, I might have followed her out of the pharmacy and asked her what her problem was with my son. GRRRRR!!!!! Some people really tick me off!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!

Today was the first day of Vladan's first whole year that he will spend in the US. Honey decided last night that we would let Vladan stay up to watch the ball drop. (Not that he had any idea what that meant) Around 11pm, I put him on the couch and covered him with an afghan. He moved all around until about 11:57 when he finally nodded off. When the ball dropped, Honey got up and started being goofy dancing all around and "celebrating." LOL! Vladan woke up (a little confused) and got up to dance with Papa. This dancing lasted until about 12:02am when Mama decided it was time for bed. Vladan didn't argue (actually he never does) as I took him upstairs. He proceeded to make noises and bang his legs to keep himself awake but thankfully, it only lasted about 15 minutes. I have several resolutions, but I'm not sharing them yet. I think after last year, since I failed on all of them within a week......I need to not embarrass myself again. :)

I pray that 2011 is as eventful as 2010. I mean, I got married on Jan 30th and became a mom on Nov 25th. On 2nd thought......I'm not sure it is possible for 2011 to be as eventful as 2010. But here's hoping it has some REALLY exciting moments. :)