Monday, December 6, 2010
In honor of Sweet Shelby's 4th Birthday I want to write and thank Maria and iSupport Adoptions. A few weeks ago Maria wrote to me and granted us. Literally.. she granted us a grant to be used towards our adoptions. She is holding the grant for now while we wait for Kyrgyzstan to begin the process. When will that be? Who knows.
Take a moment to check out iSupport Adoptions. Maria is striving to help bring more children into families through adoption. Adoption is costly and full of roller coaster ups and downs. But through the efforts of organizations such as iSupport Adoptions more families may get the chance to extend love to orphans around the world.
Thank you Maria!
Happy Birthday Sweet Noodle... I still do not know when we will meet again. But until that day know you are loved beyond imagination. Your childhood is being held hostage. But I can assure you that as soon as the word is given you will be swooped into the arms of love. Your birthdays will not come and go unnoticed. Every day will be full of love and learning. You will never know the feeling of being alone. Your days will be filled with laughter and your nights with sweet dreams. You will begin and end every single day with a snuggle and a kiss. Your brother your daddy, your family and your dogs will fill every waking moment. We love you more then ever Shelby Kristina. Hold on little girl one day we will be in each other's arms forever.
Ok that was one story for the day...... The second story is my gift from Shelby on her Birthday last year... This is from my secret squirrel blog that I kept while we were preparing to adopt Nikolas.
Sunday, December 6, 2009
December 6, 2009
So today was Shelby's Birthday. The day sort of came and went since I worked all weekend. Not without me thinking hard about where I want to be, where I was last year and what has not occurred yet. We will have some cake when I go home on Monday or Tuesday.
But what I want to post here is a truly amazing possibility. Today, on Shelby's Birthday of all days. Another post has appeared on Rainbowkids. I found Shelby on Rainbow kids in a very similar fashion. checking back all the time her post just appeared hours after I had just checked. Now tonight I check several times and a new post has appeared. This is what I found........
ChildID / Name Birth Date
Date Added View Siblings of this Child
Agency KidsFirst Adoption Services LLC
Details This child is available for immediate adoption and we are looking for a family who has a current approved home study. This child is approximately 14 months old - the date of birth listed is approximate. He was born at 32 weeks gestational age. The doctor and teachers are very happy with his developments. He is walking with support (while holding on to furniture or someone else). He plays with toys attentively and is showing good progress. The doctor reports that he is still showing an 11% defecit in weight, but they believe this is due to the prematurity. If you are interested in more information about this child please contact Inna at (317) 843-2300.
Time will tell.. But I feel like God has sent this Birthday present from Shelby to us on her Birthday. I sure don't know how we will financially handle this. But if this is meant to be I am going to let God figure that out.
And third on this December 6th 2010. My very dear friend is arriving in Moscow. My prayers and thoughts have been with her all day and night. She is meeting the little girl this week that she hopes to call her daughter. It has been a long road for her. I hope this is finally her moment and that the next few weeks will bring her to mommyhood.
Thursday, November 18, 2010
KISSES IN THE WIND
(The Waiting Child's Lullabye)
I hold you in my heart and touch you in my dreams.
You are here each day with me, at least that's how it seems.
I know you wonder where we are... what's taking us so long.
But remember child, I love you so and God will keep you strong.
Now go outside and feel the breeze and let it touch your skin...
Because tonight, just as always, I blow you kisses in the wind.
May God hold you in His hand until I can be with you.
I promise you, my darling, I'm doing all that I can do.
Very soon, you'll have a family for real, not just pretend.
But for tonight, just as always, I blow you kisses in the wind.
May God wrap you in His arms and hold you very tight.
And let the angels bring the kisses that I send to you each night.
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
A Tale of Two Children
Two children so beautiful, so special and so loved. Both my children but only one I can hold and kiss, teach and provide for. The other lives in my heart and I hold her in my dreams.
In June of 2008 I met Shelby Krystina. She was then 19 months old. Her medical reports include hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy, severe malnourishment, global developmental and physical delays; all consistent with the suspicion for cerebral palsy. Shelby sat for the first time unassisted on my first trip. She walked unassisted just prior to my second trip in December of 2008. She remains extremely small for her age. And she remains in an orphanage in Kyrgyzstan. Two and a half years after meeting her government has continued to invoke delay after delay. We have no end in sight. We have no timeline for when or even if she will ever get to be more then the child of my heart.
On a positive note due to continued delays my fiancé and I chose to pursue a concurrent adoption. In December of 2009 (on Shelby’s Birthday) we received photographs of a little boy who we knew instantly was meant to be our son. Six months later Nikolas Benjamin Richard became a United States citizen as we landed on U.S. soil at John F. Kennedy Airport.
I met Nikolas (aka Kolya ) in April 2010. He was just shy of 18 months old. He too is tiny, malnourished and developmentally delayed. But Nikolas has an advantage. Russia, despite recent troubles, has continued to allow International Adoption to proceed. Their government has worked closely with many adoption advocates to unite as many children with families as possible. Kolya turned two on October 10. In less then 4 months he has learned to not only walk without toppling every three steps, he now runs, jumps, skips, and climbs. He has gone from not talking in the orphanage to saying at the very least 25 English words. His latest melts my heart. His new saying makes me sad and happy at the same time. Two days ago Kolya started saying “I wub oo” When going to sleep or being held, “I wub oo” is said over and over. Kolya has transformed from a lonely scared developmentally delayed child into a happy, shining little boy who is almost right on target in all areas for his age.
Kolya came home at the same age that Shelby “should have” come home. I am reminded daily, just by watching him blossom, of what Shelby is missing. No speech, physical, or occupational therapy. No nutrionist to help her thrive, no one to sing her bedtime songs or hold her when she cries. Shelby will turn four in two months. She potentially will be moved to the orphanage for older children. Her world will become scarier as she will go from one of the oldest to the youngest, smallest, and frailest of the children. What will happen to her? Who will watch over her? Who will tell her repeatedly “ I wub oo?”
Nikolas has An Answer. Be the Answer for Shelby by posting the below message on the president of Kyrgyzstan, Roza Otunbayeva, facebook page (found here):
”Please advocate for the 65 Kyrgyz children waiting to be adopted by U.S families. To learn more about one of these children read this story.”
Be sure that you link to this Blog Post on the President’s Wall!
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Ok So I am not really writing this on 10-10-10 but seems that my days slip away from me lately.
10-10-10 was our little guys 2nd birthday. What a great day we had! Kolya was surrounded with family and friends. I have never had so many people in our house before. Some came to meet our little guy for the first time. The day was absolutely beautiful. A good thing since we had so many people! The hit of the day was pumpkin carving. The littlest kiddos used markers and stickers. But almost everyone else carved their own creation. Another big hit (literally) was our Tractor Pinata. The little kids got to play the longest as this pinata did not hold up so good to the older kids. A few good swings and that was all she wrote.
A round of Happy Birthday, and cake and ice cream followed. By this time most folks needed to leave as the day was getting late. Pumpkin carving took a lot longer then we anticipated, but all the kids were having so much fun we could not get them away from their creations.
Kolya opened his gifts like a trooper. He sat and oooed and ahhhhed and wow'ed at his trucks and cars. Like a true toddler any clothing was ceremoniously tossed aside. However MOM is truly grateful for the clothing, the footie PJ's, sweatshirts, overalls, and long sleeved onesies.
A bit over a week later we are still discovering and opening the boxes of trucks and cars and tool sets. Lightning McQueen is a huge hit, we send him flying up and down the hallway many times every day. Tonight I think Kolya was trying to clean his ears with the drill set. The chuck cars and sets were opened on our visit to Brian's parents and his Grandpa helped him put the pieces together. The My First Reader went to duPont with us for his appointments last Friday. And the set of CAT trucks and John Deere tractors get rolled across the floor being pushed by Kolya vrroooooming them around on his knees.
Thank you to everyone and to my Sister-in-law Kathy for helping with the pumpkins! Just a perfect day!
Sunday, October 10, 2010
I want to thank you with all my heart and all my soul. Today our son turned two. Yes! Our son. Kolya is one lucky little boy. He has two moms. You gave him life 2 years ago in Novgorod. And for whatever reasons he could not stay with you. You gave him a wonderful gift by knowing he could have a better life by giving him up. I am Kolya's other mom. And I will tell you he will be raised with the love of a family and surrounded always by friends. He will grow up knowing his heritage, and that he has a mother halfway around the world. Thank you.
Ann and Kolya
Thursday, September 30, 2010
Friday, September 24, 2010
Along with the happy is the overwhelming sense of hopelessness about our Kyrgyzstan daughter. We will receive a report from Ambassador Jacob's trip on Monday Sept 27th. From all we hear the trip and negotiations went well. But still no timeline in effect. We hear YES we will reunite the 64 kids (yes 64 kids I will write a full post dedicated to one special little girl). Yes we will sign the MOU, Yes, Yes, YEs... But no action on WHEN. Sigh.
But back to Happy note... Kolya has been home just shy of three months now! I can't believe it. Three months. We have a great routine. Kolya does best with schedule and routine. When we are off by even a little he is a bit of a bear. Sleep is very good! He continues to sleep through the night. And by through the night I really mean it! sometimes 12 hours! This morning he did not get up until after 10am. Yikes Sorry MOM! Not sure what that will mean for nap and sleep the rest of the day. Eating.. well that has tapered of a little bit. When he first came home he ate EVERYTHING we offered. He now his his favorites. And Pasta is not one of them. His favorite now is Mashed Potatoes and ground beef,. He does eat all day long, but kind of snacking all day long. I have not officially weighed him for a few weeks as I was discouraged at being stuck at 18.5 pounds. His legs are chunkier, and you can no longer see ribs so all weight aside I know we are moving in a positive direction. Speech- He still sees speech therapy every Thursday. He has at least 25 English words. But mimics everything we say. He understands simple English commands. "Pick up your juice cup, come here, " He calls Sabyr, Hannah and Ruger by name depending on which dog he wants to torment at the time. Kolya has three speeds now.. Run, Jump, and sleep.. nothing in between will do.
In two weeks we will celebrate his first birthday with us. And his Number 2!!!
Monday, September 13, 2010
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
I can't believe it but Summer is over. Coolness is in the air. The air conditioner is not running full blast every moment of the day, and we are spending many more hours outside enjoying the weather. Kolya has been home for 9 weeks!!! The time has gone so quick. My whirlwind adoption from Russia is fading to a distant memory. The unbelievable amount of tme spent in a car from Moscow to Borovichi doesn't seem so long at all anymore. In fact I miss my travels. I have learned many things from this adoption journey. One is a love of traveling abroad. I miss my Kyrgyz friends. I wish I could return to visit. I loved seeing the sights of Russia (mostly Moscow).
This month may mark an end of one story and the beginning of another for our waitng Kyrgyz kids. I know that is certainly a tease. But I can't get much further then that in detail. We have one last hope, One last prayer, One last ditch effort to reunite our families. Pray this works. But if this does not then pray for our kids as we will all be needing to figure out how we can support them from afar. I sure hope and pray this won't be the case, hwever I can't stomach knowing that Shelby is living in an orphanage any longer then she needs to. Does that mean she will always be the child of my heart? Possibly. But this is out of my hands. All I can do is Pray and ask that all our readers do the same.
On to happier thoughts. Our dear Kolya is blossoming. He make us all laugh. He is 99% fun and 1 pure toddler. That 1% can be a bit trying. Especially to a new mom who has not had time to adjust to a child in the house let alone a toddler. Kolya is 100% boy. He jumps, he climbs, he bonks his head on everything. The other night I turned arund to get his clothing ready for bed. In less then 1/30th of a second he was able to scale his toybox nd do a double gainer smack(thud) on to the hard floor below. Ay, AY, Ay.... Luckily the only thing he hurt was a bit of a bite to the bottom lip and a lot of pride. But he hasn't tried a bely flop off the toy box again. So hopefully lesson learned. He will be 2 in a month and a day! A birthday party is in order! Can't wait.
What have we been up to? Last weekend we traveled to Argyle, NY to Shannon's and to the Washington County FAir. Kolya was intrigued by the tractors and the heavy machies! Tractor was his new favorite word that weekend. We visited Harrisburg with friends Kaitlyn and Brandon where we played in the fountain and took pictures of the building whee his paperwork was conceived. Speech Therapy is every week. We counted up a total of somewhere between 15 and 17 words, but that was a few weeks ago. His new favorite words .. Horse which he says like a whisper. Tractor, uh oh, who's that, Anna (for Hannah our German Shepherd) Nonna ( Donna our friend from dog training), Mammy (grammy), Poppop. He baaaas like a sheep and quacks like a duck.
We watched Star Wars this last weekend and he was MEZMORIZED!!! So fun to be sitting with our son watching a movie that was one of my first movies as a child.
Try to add a phto post soon.
Monday, August 16, 2010
A few weeks ago I finally heard the song I absolutely knew I wanted to use for this video. I was rocking Kolya to sleep listening to Pandora on my blackberry. "Someone" just sounds so much like a story of a child who has been adopted. I looked up the song and hunted and hunted for the MP3 with no luck. So I emailed the Artist! I received email this afternoon from Sara Hickman's label company, Sleeveless Records. They not only replied to my email, but sent me the MP3 of the song!!! WOW! They hope to upload the songs from the CD "Toddler" sometime soon to be bought as MP3's.
Thank you Ms. Hickman for this beautiful song. And a huge thanks to Lance at Sleeveless Records for sending the MP3 for this video!
Sunday, August 15, 2010
Kolya is pretending to be pretty buff in this photo. In reality he has one of those swimming outfits on that has the floats inside. He looks like Arnold Swartzenager. No such luck at gaining that much weight. Actually the weight gain is not really happening. A little worried but not too much. He had gained a little weight before he got sick. Then lost that weight during the few days he was pretty under the weather. He did not eat much when we went to D.C. But he is back to eating really good again so I am hoping we'll start see the weight. Wish I had this trouble. Can't I just give him the weight I want to lose?
Sadly the first dog Kolya called by name was Tressa. He would walk up and down the hall calling Tressa, Tressa!! But last Saturday we lost Tressa. She was a sweet sweet little dog and I miss her a lot. She was full of energy and so full of cuddle. We will never know what actually was the cause of her dying so suddenly. We know she was sick for a few days before. She went to the vet and we thought she had an infection from a bad tooth. She had several days of antibiotics and some pain meds.. And we scheduled for surgery to remove the tooth. But she got worse and did not make it through the weekend. She was only with us for 2 years. I sure hope that those two years were happy for her. I will miss having our little dog. And I will miss her high pitched happy howl.
The first few weeks of August a delegation of folks from Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan is visiting here in the United States. The two members from Kyrgyzstan were Janyl and Cholpin. They are here in the USA to work on adoption issues between the US and their two countries. We are very hopeful that this visit will result in a resolution for the pending 65 cases. But this is a very cautious hopeful. We have been hopeful so many times only to get our hopes squashed and be left with no end in site. On Thursday night a get together was sponsored by JCICS and by Teaisms restaurant. The delegates from Kyrgyz and Kaz met with families that are waiting to bring kids home from Kyrgyz and Kaz. But also there were children there already adopted from Kyrgyz, Kaz, domestic and of course Kolya from Russia.
The meeting went well. We all had a chance to introduce ourselves. Tell a little about who we are, who our adopted children are and about our children who are waiting for us. Much to my surprise Janyl is/was the same Janyl that I met in Kyrgyzstan back in April 2009. We met her at the Ministry of Education and had a very nice long meeting with her then. She recognized me right away. Her eyes got as big as saucers. When she introduced herself she even made trhe statement about meeting me in Kyrgyzstan. I think she was just as excited as I was to see a familiar face in a crowd. Later we had better opportunity to chat one on one with the delegates individually. I shared a photo album of updated pictures of some of the waiting children, as well as a photo album of children who are already home from Kyrgyzstan (thank Hilary!! This book is getting a lot of use!!) They genuinely seem sad for the kids who are waiting. They really seem to want to come to a resolution. I sure wish, hope and pray that we will get the news we are hoping for this week. If not our kids will be doomed. I don't know what will happen then.
Pamela and baby E (adopted domestic), Emily(Kyrgyz 2008), Far left Tom Difilipino from JCICS
These photos are a little backwards.. After our meeting we stopped at the Navy memorial which was right outside Teaisms. I never even knew there was a navy memorial. Coincidently the outfit Kolya wore was a Navy outfit. Actually this outfit belonged to my Godson Richie. I will have to find his photo and post it here too just as a cool little tribute to the outfit being older. Richie is 16 now! For the meeting I put the sweater vest over the navy outfit and it looked so darned cute. But then posed for the Navy pictures without it. I did realize after the fact that I had forgotten to get a good picture of just Kolya with the sweater vest on. Oh well.
In the middle of the Navy memorial is a flat circular map of the world. Kolya is sort of walking on what is about the vicinity of Novgorod Russia. Give or take a few hundred miles! A passer by saw me taking photos of Kolya and commented on how cute he was. And asked if he could take our photo together. Kolya did not particularly care for this statue. To me now looking at this photo I think of my grandfather. Poppop Fizz was a Navyman. And although he never left U.S. soil I can imagine this statue being him. My brother was also in the navy. So this memorial to the Navy is pretty special.
Monday, July 26, 2010
But alas with all the good comes the bad... I am not sure what sparked a sudden change in bedtime scene. But I know that since we are back from our trip to duPont Kolya is having a horrible time falling asleep. Once he is asleep he is great, and will sleep for 8-10 hours. But the last few nights getting to sleep has started with a round of SCREAMING. I think he has realized that he has no other way to keep himself from falling asleep then screaming. I have ignored all his attempts to stay awake. But its hard to ignore downright screaming to the point that he is hot and sweaty. Tonight we took a car ride. A 30 minute trip in the car and off to dreamland he went. I am so open to suggestions! We think he may now be remembering night times in the orphanage.? not sure.. But I feel so bad for him. For now I myslef am off to dreamland.. Tomorrow I will post new photos!