Welcome!! Grab a cup of coffee and visit with us! We hope you enjoy our story! (((HUGS)))

Welcome!! Grab a cup of coffee and visit with us! We hope you enjoy our story! (((HUGS)))
CLICK ON OUR BOYS PICTURE AND READ ABOUT THE REST OF OUR FAMILY!

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Not much new with 6 lively siblings!

The boys are just growing by leaps and bounds. The time really flies by. There aren't enough hours in the day to get all they want to learn done!!! They are very motivated. Especially Julius and Mosie.

I wish they had the same goals as mom. Things like speech take a back burner for them. They hate PT and yet they like physical activities and lots of them! The ones of their choosing!

So we do 15 minutes of sitting to "listen" to sounds and stories and directions and then they run to do 15 minutes of setting the table!! LOL!! Or some other independent living skill they prefer to be doing and showing off! Imagine my surprise when Julius decided to get the food out of the refrigerator! LOL!

I'd love to tell you they are all potty trained. But progress has been very slow with that. Noah has no idea what it means. Pauly frets on the potty. With his autism things that don't make sense are to worry about. Jacob flat out refuses to sit. Crying his way off. Mosie sits happily but there's no connection as to if he goes or not! Julius thinks he's potty trained- WHAT!!! Yes! he thinks he knows what the end result should be- and it's that he went in the potty because he said so. OY! 

Mercy is a whole 'nother story. Due to her tethered spine we don't know if she can "feel" either elimination. And she agrees with Jacob- protest loud enough and mom lets you down!

Once down of course everyone is off to their activities like nothing happened............sigh. 

Jacob is walking up the stairs on his own. Yes he needs a hair cut yesterday! These were last week. Too hot for sweat shirts now! Click on the boys at the top of the blog and see what we've been up to, that has prevented us from hair cuts!


I love how they use the railing to walk up but use the wall to walk down!! We wipe these down daily- can you say boogies? LOL!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Boys and their toys!

 Since the boys don't understand birthday gifts or presents. We carefully introduce them to new "things" every 6 months or so. We frequently need to update their electronic toys. As they grow and learn, they graduate from manipulating toys that were for younger children. So we have to buy them slightly more challenging toys to manipulate.

Above is Noah and the picnic basket that talks and sings. Noah manipulates very few electronic toys. So it was a big deal to see him carry this basket!

He prefers his chew sticks. And once in a while a stuffed toy.

He carries this in silly Noah fashion! LOL!

Giving the boys the new toys at one time overwhelms them. However we can easily introduce Julius and Moses to one new toy each. They are always willing to explore a new toy. The other 3 boys will not notice anything different about a new toy unless it does something specific they like. They can't tell me what they want, so its hit or miss with them.

Jacob is finicky about toys. Altho yesterday I saw him holding Mercy's Fisher Price Laugh and Learn (girl) puppy. Something he'd never choose if it was his!! Jacob was holding the puppy toy so lovingly, I was quite surprised!! Which was funny because Mercy has dragged "pretty puppy" everywhere and pretty puppy is quite dirty. Sadly she can't be washed! Oh well at least she's well loved! :o)

This ball is a new soft laughing ball. All of the boys like to throw. This ball can be thrown and it "talks" to them.
 
 We bought 5 new toys and 2 electronic story books. One toy was destroyed during shipping. :o( They had shipped it in a bag.

Up above by Noah's picture there is a gate so that they can't get into my sewing area. I put the new toys on the floor behind the gate so they could see them. Then I gave them 1 new toy every few days. This way they knew the new toys from the old. When Moses and Julius saw the new toys- they could not wait to try them all! They would have climbed the gate if they could! A few times Mosie squeezed past someone to get to them! 

We donate the toys they outgrow unless they are too chewed up! LOL!

Pauly is trying the new ball out. He likes the sound. But this is not the kind of toy he prefers. He likes toys with handles or strings so he can dangle them in front of his face. Part of his autism. We discourage him from doing that. We encourage him to carry them by the handle/string instead. He likes that too! :o)
 
 Mosie says this ball is great! But do we need a picture! LOL!

 Julius loves to play ball with this nice new ball!
His jammies are backwards so we don't find him naked! LOL!

THIS is Pauly's pride and joy! It is a lantern that lights up and plays music. But best of all it has a handle! Pauly loves that handle! If it has a handle you can lift it up and down!! 

Mosie loves talking toys. This little lamp says "off" and "on" and sings etc. They only make it in pink!! Why? Don't boys have lamps too?! 

 Jacob "reading" a new electronic talking book.

Noah doesn't look at talking books. But sometimes he likes to carry one because it is small- "hand" size!

Mosie LOVES automobiles and trains and planes. But he hates the sounds of sirens etc that come with the big boy cars/trucks. They are just too loud!! This little car is perfect! We sit in a circle and he "drives" (shoves) it to us. He'll even try to give it a "double" rev by "revving" its wheels twice before letting go! He's so darn smart! He needs practice to get the car to go straight. He squeels with delight when we get it straight back to him! 

When Mosie wants to play he brings you the toy he wants to play with you with! So darn cute! 

 Here he goes with his car! These size 5 jammies are getting snug! Only 3 years ago he wore size 18 months! 

 He loves when the toys make sound as they move. Some actually don't and he hates that!! He gets angry if the song shuts off while the play vacuum moves! 

 Pauly considering the book Isaiah handed him! LOL!! Hey where's the handle??!!

 Julius and Mercy love talking electronic books!
But Mercy does not like new toys unless they are musical and light up!

Mosie says "I hope you enjoyed visiting us with our new toys!!
Love you all for Loving us!
(((HUGS)))

Friday, April 3, 2015

The Angels are rejoicing in Heaven

Our world suffered a huge loss yesterday. A Dear Sister in Christ went home to be with Jesus.

I called her Dr. Elizabeth. She happened to have a lot of friends named Elizabeth. She once told me that even though the name Elizabeth was not that common she knew many. She called each of us named Elizabeth ~ Mrs. ___ by our last names as not to confuse us! LOL!
But I always signed my e-mails to her just Elizabeth. Or my initials EMA. And I called her Dr Elizabeth.
She was my only friend named Elizabeth, and she was a Dr. I found her to be an Elizabeth that we all should aspire to be, even without her credentials, she was most importantly a woman of God.


                                        (Jacob is walking!)

Because Dr Elizabeth loved the orphans, she was instrumental in helping so many of us fund raise to bring our babies home.
She also had cancer. But cancer NEVER had her. She packed her days full of life. She told me she would help me fund raise until I was FULLY funded to bring my 3 boys home. I was skeptical. 

There were times the fund raising dried up and she would think of something new to try and do. It always worked. I was a doubter and she taught me to believe.

She will not see all the fruits of her labor. The little miracles I wish I could continue to share with her. Before Jesus brought her home, she read my blog and kept up with our many little miracles. She always had such kind things to say to me. I cherish those e-mails, especially now.


 (Jacob refuses to walk while we watch, or ask him. So Isaiah did his best to capture a few of the moments. If you comment or cheer him on he will stop walking. So we hold our breath watching him and collapse into joyful crying after he sits!!)

Dr Elizabeth will not see these pictures of Jacob walking. But I have a feeling God will share with her!
You see Jacob was 5 months post op experimental brain surgery when Tom visited him in Bulgaria for first visit in April 2012. We had no idea. However I knew there was something very wrong when he came home. He was 9 months post op. When I went to cut his hair there was the incision.

The cysts he has on his brain are not operated on unless extremely necessary. If there were signs that he could not swallow, or any other concern. Then they might consider operating. We feel sure Jacob did not have any signs. He does not now and if he did the surgery they did would not have "corrected" anything. In fact it set him back developmentally in ways that break my heart.

Dr Elizabeth consulted neurologists for us. One even commented on my blog that surgery is rarely if ever performed for this. Jacob nearly died from the records we saw. He was at hospital 2 weeks after surgery. And then returned to the orphanage only to be sent back to the hospital again for 2 more weeks. The orphanage could not afford this. That same orphanage director refused care at the hospital for kids who truly needed it to survive. This hospital was hours away. It was even a hospital known to have a poor record in caring for patients. We think it was paid for by the Dr experimenting.

Jacob's neurologist here takes regular MRIs to watch the cysts. Other than that Jacob should be fine. Unless he presented a concern like extreme body weakness, and the inability to swallow. 



 As you can see here, Jacob has grown in strength and size. We have no concerns about the cysts, and may never have concerns about them.
Jacob is catching his balance here. He has incredible balance. He will not fall on his bum. He will correct himself. It is amazing. In the background Mosie is in his "distress" pose. He thinks Jacob will fall! LOL!


 I never owned a pair of Dr Elizabeth's amazing socks. I was never a sock sister. But 2 pairs of her socks were sold on ebay for my 3 boys Noah, Moses and Jacob. One pair brought in $300.00. We were BLESSED by her precious socks. We were BLESSED by our precious friend/Sister Dr Elizabeth.

When Jacob came home he had a very thin left leg and very flat feet. He was so weak all he could do was grab our arm and cling to us as we fed him. I had little hope of those thin shaky legs ever supporting his body weight. And now look at him. He is 55 pounds and he can support his weight to walk! Dr Elizabeth would be so proud!


 Here he has to maneuver stepping over the gate thresh hold.

Dr Elizabeth and I had many things in common. One we often shared was that we knew how hard it was not to be able to do everything we want for our children. I've said before that I have a chronic non-disabling medical condition. It was stated on my medical forms when we adopted. I often am not able to have the energy to do all of the things moms do. Birthday parties, big holiday dinners, things like that exhaust me. So I have to prioritize. My priority is not entertaining, dusting, raking the yard, making my bed, vacuuming, laundry. 

My priorities are hands on education, therapy, documenting Dr visits and recommendations, and stream lining what we all should do together. Tom does diapers, laundry, dishes- I cook and bathe. Tom takes them to half of the Dr & therapy appointments. I do half. Or I do phone consults.

Dr Elizabeth and I would talk about how hard it is to delegate our responsibilities to others, when once we could do it all. She helped me feel blessed that I could still do things like homeschool even with my strength challenges. 
And I now appreciate more what I can do than what I can't.  



                              Jacob walks along the furniture.

I have such an empty spot in my heart now. I miss Dr Elizabeth dearly. Please pray for Dr Elizabeth's children, husband and parents. She loved them with every ounce of her being. Their loss is huge. I thank God for them sharing precious Dr Elizabeth with us all. I pray they find some comfort in the fruits of her labors to save these precious orphans/children. 


Isaiah still trying to get a good picture of Jacob walking.
Jacob is walking better every day.

The funny thing is that Moses was the tiniest, he wore a baby size 2 shoe. He could barely sit! Who could imagine that he would walk! And Noah who had the strength to stand when he came home is struggling with walking. But now Jacob who we thought would never be strong enough is walking too. You just can't even begin to guess what these beautiful precious children can do once they are home! And home because an Angel named Dr Elizabeth fought tirelessly for them.
We LOVE you so much sweet precious Elizabeth. Our hearts cry with joy as you are now completely healed. I anxiously await the time I can come and see you face to face.


I hope this link works. Another silly video by Isaiah. He tried to catch Jakie walking. :o)

(I'm sorry if my post sounds disjointed, my thoughts are grieving. So much sadness and JOY) 

Friday, March 20, 2015

Is it Friday already?

 MA and her puzzle in the living room. :o) Next to her on the left is her walker loaded with things to do. If the walker was bigger she'd bring out more! 

She turned 58 this year. For years she would tell everyone how old "I" was. Because we are the same age. I hated it! I don't need everyone to know how old I am do I? But now that she has Alzheimers, and she is very quiet. I miss that. I don't know why I put up a fuss when she had to tell everyone. 
Now she denies her age because she has a fear of dying. She confidently tells us all "I'm young yet. I'm in a thirties."


Thank goodness my boys travel with very little! :o) A toy or a therapeutic chewie that Noah has here, are all they need! :o)
Noah loves this chair! His bed is behind him.

He turns himself sideways in his bed and bends his head back and bounces like he did when he lived in his crib. 
I move him time after time, in his sleep he works his way back. Then he gets a little sore on his forehead from it.
It took him a long time to stop seeking a bed or laying on the floor like he was in bed. He was so used to that life.

Crazy hair days here, everybody needs a trim!


 This silly boy runs from room to room to room. He's not interested in any beds! LOL! In fact when his bed rail is opened in the morning he runs out of bed and into another room as fast as he can. As if to say I don't need to be in bed!! I need to be free!
He wants to be independent in every area.

Sometimes Jacob is mean to his brothers. Sometimes he'll fight for toys, or push. I never have to worry about Mosie because he will run or avoid Jacob if he sees that Jacob or Julius might hurt him. 

Jacob doesn't always win the toy fight with Mosie now! :o)
Julius used to push Mosie every time he walked past him. Mosie learned quickly to avoid Julius' arm. Sometimes he even went back and pushed Julius. Which was a challenge because little brother Julius is taller! And a push from Mosie doesn't hurt.


 Julius here watching Isaiah with the camera! He is our curious little monkey and if you don't watch his hands, he'll touch everything! :o) He'd love to touch the camera! 

Julius is good about letting us know that he's in trouble by crying. He hates trouble. He also hates if anyone else is in trouble, not just him.
Unfortunately that never stops him from finding trouble.

Julius is such a big boy he has the top bunk bed! There's a bed rail on the side and on each end of the bunk a piece of fiberboard so he won't hang over! 

Julius used to like to share a bed with Pauly, and then he started to be mean to Pauly in the night. The same way Jacob was mean to Noah when they shared a bed. It seems they mature to a certain point and then Jacob and Julius decided to assert a little dominance. If Jacob is mean to Julius he wins. As tough as Julius thinks he is, he won't push back. And Jacob is eye to eye with him.

 Julius and Pauly used to do everything together. But Pauly has remained behind struggling and Julius has grown leaps ahead. Julius still has a soft spot for Pauly and gives him a kind touch here and there. I love when I see that! Pauly loves it too.

Julius is still mommas boy and I LOVE that. But its hard when I want him to listen to his older kids! He thinks he only has to listen to me. But he'll talk back to me sometimes too!!


                                  "Oh-Oh! Arms down Mosie!"
Pauly prefers to play in the hallway where he can look out the big hallway windows. Mosie has decided that he wants to help Pauly. He noticed that Pauly needed a friend. :o) Pauly likes to hold hands. Before only Julius would let Pauly hold hands with him. Mosie would throw his hand off. And Jakie and Noah would let go. Now Mosie holds hands with Pauly and leads him here and there. Or he sits by Pauly and sweetly takes his hand. It's so cute and Pauly treats him as the big brother even tho Pauly is bigger and the same size! That is Mosie's truck he is sharing with Pauly. :o) Such sweet boys! 

 Isaiah can always get Jacob to laugh! I can never get Jacob to laugh! Normally he is so grumpy! I LOVE his goofy boy smiley face! He's in his sister's room looking around. Most times he likes to go in his room and stand near his bed. He would like to get in his bed but the bed rail stops him. Those old habits die hard. :o(


 Jacob likes to take toys, pinch and push. Noah and Pauly can't defend themselves from Jacob so we have to watch them around him. Noah and Pauly don't understand meanness at all. They are too trusting. In fact Mercy one day decided to bite Pauly's foot. We knew she would bite us, and herself. But she had never bitten her brothers. Poor Pauly let out a scream. We rescued him, he was too afraid to move.
All 5 boys are not so sure about Mercy. And she kind of just does her thing around them like she's part of the group. But she's so much taller- the boys aren't sure what to think about that! ;o)

Miss Mercy here thinking about if she will cooperate with pictures or not. On her right side is a piece of fiberboard so they don't "hang" over the stair railing. Pauly especially was fascinated with doing that!! OY! Now they can only walk past. And I don't have a heart attack seeing Pauly hang over! Thank goodness for zip ties and fiberboard!
Mercy is stronger than the boys and she pulled the board out the first time Tom put it up. She hates boundaries!
I just noticed in this picture the remnants of her poor little bloody nose. People with Sotos have "soft" skin. They bruise and bleed easily. Once I washed her face and just from the rag rubbing it, it turned so beet red I thought I'd injured her! She gets bloody noses so easy. Just like our Molly did.

She is the youngest girl of 5 older brothers from Bulgaria. So we have to dress her cute! :o) She has a wardrobe to die for! LOL!

 Julius taking Mosie's truck - busted!! LOL! 
Mosie is too busy in the background watching Isaiah take pictures to notice!

Mosie likes this chair too! He's not fond of sharing it. But he knows sharing with Noah is safe. Julius might push even a big brother out of the chair for fun.....sigh.



Miss Mercy singing a happy song. No words, just lots of pretty "ahhh-ah-ahhh" :o) When she's happy she is incredibly happy. It helps for us remember her struggles when she's crabby. Life isn't easy for my little(big) peanut. :o)

So what's new with you? :o)