Tuesday, May 31, 2011

First Time Swinging

While we were in Huntsville visiting hubby's family this past weekend we took the kids to the park, it was Alanna's first time. I was hesitant to try her in the swing, because she doesn't like things like being lifted up over our head, she freaks out. She freaked out the first time, then it was pure joy.

Yep, our 7 year old fits into the baby swing still, and he thinks it's funny.

Our handsome Cody

Anastasia flying high

  I swear swear this baby  is the most beautiful thing ever!

Friday, May 27, 2011

How do you choose a child?

I see people ask this question on the RR forum. My only answer is God tells you. Sometimes it's progressive, sometimes it's sudden. When we lost Ella, we did not know how we would choose another child. We actually committed to a different child before Alanna. And right after we did we heard God, saying "that is not your child" The next day, I let Andrea know that we needed to change our minds. I felt silly.
Many of us RR Moms know how it feels to see a child that we think fits into what we imagine for our family or what we think we can handle, the age that we think is right, etc.... But God is telling us no. Then we see the family that committs to the child, and we know why. It is so obvious that is their child, that God chose for them.
One of the children we considered, (she is not the one we momentarily committed to), is sweet little Angie. Look at her family!! She looks like she was meant for them, love how God does that!
They are hosting a giveaway to help them raise the needed funds to adopt not Angie, but Neal also!!
Please consider going to their blog and making a donation to help them bring home their God choosen children.
I mean who doesn't want an Ipad2 or a 500.00 Amazon giftcard!!

Friday, May 20, 2011

The Honeymoon is Over/Honesty Post

Not for Alanna, for Anastasia. Overall she is adjusting so well to having a little sister, and having the attention shift from her, as our youngest on the timeline. (she is not the youngest our bios are 10 and 7, we adopted Anastasia 2 years ago and she is 9 now) She has only had one fit since us bringing Alanna home, a huge difference from before. She hasn't shown any jealousy. Well, Daddy was out of town for work this week and there is a lot of talk about our upcoming move. So of course, some sort of odd behaviour is to ensue. I will ask her something simple, like, "what do you want on your hot dog? *Blank Stare* "Anastasia there is no reason for you not to be answering me, what do you want on your hotdog?" She answers so softly I can't hear. Seriously!! This scenario repeated itself over and over all week. It's especially frustrating when she does it in front of other people, because it doesn't make any sense. I did call her out on it, and informed her that if she continued she would serve a punishment.
So tonight my husband let me rest while he took the baby and one child to go pick up pizza and prescriptions. When I woke up, my husband had told me about something that had occured while I was sleeping, something that was not a huge deal, but she had done it in order to get her dessert ASAP. It was a rule that her and I had discussed many times, but Daddy was not aware of. Big NO NO, don't play one parent off of another. So my husband and I called her into the living room to talk to her about it. Something she was not pleased about. She came, muttering under her breath the whole way. "Anastasia, what are you saying I can't hear you?" She says "I didn't say anything" "Anastasia I heard you, what were you saying?" "I wasn't saying anything Mommy reaaaallllyyyyy!" Both my husband and I asked her, same response. Then she said " I don't know what I was saying, I was talking so low, all I could hear was blah, blah, blah"
Anastasia think about what you are doing before you do it, you are lying, and you make no sense, this is your last chance to tell Mommy and Daddy what you said. "You never believe me, I'm telling the truth, I don't know what I said"
This is the 3rd time we have had this situation in the past week. The first was when my husband asked her not to do something and she did it anyways. It was not something that was a bad behavior just something he did not want her to do right then. She looked right at him and did it anyways. Then he asked her why she did it. Her response, "I didn't do it on purpose" It was not something you do on accident, she was 2 feet in front of him. She repeated over and over and stood her ground that she did not mean to do it.
So guess what my experienced, adoptive veteran Momma did, I sent her to bed. I just could not deal with it. I had a long week on my own with the kiddos, usually it goes smoothly this week, not so much, I am exhausted and just didn't feel like dealing with that behavior. When people say they admire me, I don't understand why. I am NOT the perfect parent. And I admit to you, that I am better at parenting some of my children than others. Adoptive parenting does not mean we have all the answers sometimes it means we ask God why he thought we were equipped to do this?
And let me tell you, for all adoptive parents, parenting an adoptive child is hard. If you have not done it you would not understand. Also let me tell you this, most adoptive kiddos who have behavior problems, do not have them for other people. Most behaviors are directed at the adoptive mothers, it's psychological, and somedays I handle it better than other days.
I am trying my hardest to be honest here. Several of my dearest adoptive friends have manned up and been honest about their struggles on their blogs. I had made the decision I would either be honest or stop blogging. These blogs are here for us to support each other. I realize it's like a reality sitcom to some, but to us adoptive parents, it is essential that we be honest with each other. Most of us feel pressured into making people think that we don't struggle. I find that I'm comfortable talking to people about struggles with my bio kids, but not my adoptive, because people will judge, like I've failed, or like I don't love her, etc... That's not the case, it's just real life we are living. And there are real people, really good parents, who are struggling and feel like they have nowhere to go, people with much bigger behaviors to deal with than us. We need to support each other.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Slow and Steady Gets You to Kirovograd

and it is just as scary as getting there FAST.
Soo, after our SDA appt. We sat and had lunch with our facilitators. Walter was starving, but according to the "alignment of the stars..etc" he was not supposed to eat anything much, so he kept ordering tea and soup. And the man talked, A LOT. Very knowledgable about Ukrainian history. And he kept going back to being prepared because something unexpected was going to happen today, you know, because of the planets, err stars, etc 
So we walk around the area a bit. Then out of nowhere Walter declares he is too tired to continue, and too tired to drive us back to our apartment. So he wants to flag us down a taxi. We tell him we will walk back to our apartment. We part ways, he calls to check to make sure we make it back, he is a very sweet man, but odd.
So, guess who is assigned to drive us to our region? Yep, Walter. And guess who doesn't know how to get there? And guess who borrows a GPS from a friend but can't figure out how to use it. And guess who is supposed to pick us up at 3 am and we have to call and wake him up at 4 am.
So finally he gets there to pick us up a little after 4. We drive about a mile down the road and he pulls over to ask someone where a gas station is. Umm, what? We haven't even left Kiev yet, you don't know where you are? And you're driving us 4.5 hours to our region? We get gas, he pulls over, at least 3 more times to ask directions and we get on the "freeway" And we are driving, in the dark, at 30 mph, everyone else is driving, like Ukrainians/Russians. I AM SCARED. And we are pulling over and asking for directions EVERYTIME he sees someone on the side of the road. Everytime he changes CDs or answers the phone he pulls over to the side. Then he swerves into oncoming traffic, going 30 mph. I start crying. So my husband texts our facilitator to call Walter and check on him.
And he does 2 hours later. And we are pulling over at least once a mile. I'm not kidding, to ask for directions. I'm not convinced we are anywhere near where we need to go, and I think we may end up in Russia. We get to Kirovograd, 7 hours later. 3.5 hours longer than it takes the other drivers.
On the way back to Kiev we requested Walter not drive us, I just couldn't take it again. We had our cab driver from our region drive us, he was 50.00 cheaper, and a super skilled driver. That drive was equally as scary. I felt like we were in a video game the way he drove those roads, weaving in and out of traffic. But that is what we are used to when it comes to our Ukrainian/Russian drivers.
We did see Walter again. He drove us to our Embassy appt. We were 45 minutes late. Just so you know, you can call the embassy and let them know you are running late, it was not a big deal. You know, just in case you end up having Walter drive you.
We love Walter, he's part of our story, and unlike anyone we've ever met over there.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

You gotta tell me these things

Like when I name a post "The Rabbit and the Hare" Kids eat brain cells, so I don't have many left. So fixed it, except I couldn't wrap my brain around how to spell tortoise, or whatever, ugh

The Tortoise and the Hare..driving a car....

I elaborate on that more in a minute. In country you will most likely have several different drivers. Of course, there is the ever famous Niko. Niko is the bomb driver, he is a little older, very experienced and knows his stuff, also very easy going and nice.
So Niko had told us about a guys I am going to call "walter" not his real name, just go with it. So, Niko says he "knows a guy" who can give us a great tour of Kiev, the capitol while we are staying there, this guy knows great English. So we hire said guy, Walter. First of all Walter has an issue, with his car. His car alarm goes off ohhhh, every 10-30 seconds when he is not in it. Why? Not sure. So Walter picks us up and takes us to our SDA appt. Right across from the SDA is a huge souvenir market. There, Walter "knows a guy" who sells souvenirs. We are pressured to buy souvenirs from him and only him. Slightly uncomfortable, but they are very nice and know great english. "The guys" with the souvenors tease Walter about his car alarm going off, they tell us it always does this. When we walk away to go to our SDA appt Walter leaves his keys with the souvenor guys so they can turn his alarm off, should it happen to go off while he's inside with us. Oh, ya did I mention that Walter was not able to park his car, the souvenor guy did it for him after Walter tried several times. I'm a girl, I could have done on my first try, my grandma could have done it on her first try.
If you were wondering, in this story Walter is the Tortoise,
I have to go clean while the baby is sleeping.
To Be Continued.............................................................

Sunday, May 1, 2011

For Me

Every once in a while I look at my hubby and ask him "can you believe WE get to keep her?" To say we are in love is an understatement.
People comment to me all the time how in love we look (Alanna and I) hehe, and we are, like a newborn and mother getting to know each other.
I kiss her toes, breath in her breath, memorize the color of her eyes, squeeze her chubby legs, hug her close, press her cheeks against mine, etc... It is like God made her for me, my child. And the thing is, He did, as her birth mother carried her in her womb, as she lay in a hospital with no visitors, then in an oprhanage crib for 15 months, God already knew she was mine. Because first of all she is His, and we had prayed for another child, and He knew the perfect one.
Sorry, I tend to get sentimental on Sundays. Ha!