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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!