Sorry I don't have any pictures. Hopefully Tom can teach me to download memory cards. I don't know how yet.
There are very few deep down helpful/informative blogs about adopting these children. I don't know why. This precious mom here- http://ourchinastarfish.blogspot.com/
is faithful about sharing the realities of adopting two precious children from an orphanage in Eastern Europe. In fact the same country we adopted from. Most blogs tend to "gloss" over the difficulties and heartaches. Yes there is joy, but much of it is hard won, to overcome the only life these boys have ever known takes work. If you read Jennifer's blog you can walk along side her feeling her pain and her joy as she speaks for precious boys that have not had a voice. Now they have a voice, her voice, their mom's voice.
As I begin to write our story I smile because I have seen Jennifer walk down this path. It is familiar to me. :o) Thank You Jennifer!
When Tom had Paul in the hotel in Bulgaria I could hear Paul coughing. I was worried. Tom noticed that Paul has a scar on his chest from a heart surgery. Paul's medicals state - No heart surgery, but a heart condition that needs watching. hmmm..... The cough can't be good for a boy with heart questions. So when he came home last night I noticed he couldn't breathe well and the cough was croupy sounding! OY! I went to bed listening to him fight to breathe well. He has a pillow in his crib which helps elevate his head and he's smart enough to use it! Good boy! So this morning desperate to help him I gave him a neb treatment. Wow! He knew what the neb was and he liked it. He wanted the neb treatment and now he can breathe. He has chronic asthma. Julius has concerns as well that we were not told of.
These boys have been housed (no one raised them) together in the same orphanage. And yet they do not know each other, they do not even like each other. They have completely different personalities. Julius has not given up on communicating with people, and Paul has a world that looks very autistic that he uses to avoid people at all cost. (This is why when Tom made Paul laugh last March the orphanage staff was in SHOCK!) They said Paul was "serious". No it's more like autistic.
Tom came in the house last night carrying Julius into the house; when I greeted Julius and said "hello" he turned away. He clearly can bond. He knew I was a stranger! So I went to Gabriel carrying Paul. Paul was not upset outwardly by my taking him but he averted his eyes and started flapping his left hand in front of his face and slapping his right ear with his right hand. Poor precious boy.
I had 2 playpens set up in the living room to put them in if we needed to put them down. Only Isaiah (7 yrs) was still up to greet them at 10 p.m., he took a long nap to stay up. :o)
We put them in the playpens and Isaiah and I talked to them without holding them, while Tom unloaded the car.
I was able to get both boys to laugh and they did like me. It was alot of work but worth the effort to be accepted by them. I had watched Julius push everyone's hands away, even Tom's. So I anticipated him doing this to me and pushed his hands first. This caught him off guard, and he thought is was very funny. Paul likes alot of physical contact, but not eye contact, if you tickle him or walked your fingers up his legs to his tickly neck enough times he responds. He even anticipated the fun of it. Tom was amazed they opened up so quickly to me- but hey! After parenting 15 other children, running a group home and doing day care I think I might have a few tricks up my sleeve! LOL!
They went to bed nicely. Paul has a crib in our large bedroom with a wooden standing "screen" on one side so he can't see us but he can hear us. I left a night light on. Julius has a playpen to sleep in with Samson and Isaiah, who are on bunk beds. Samson sleeps on top, Isaiah on the bottom bunk next to Julius. They went right to sleep. Isaiah went to bed fast; he wanted to be near Julius and he forgot to kiss me goodnight!
All through the night they grind their teeth and rock sitting up. Once asleep they fall foreward, legs still crossed. I unfold them. Paul struggles to breathe all night and makes very loud repetitive noises. Like humming and growling. Sort of like a chain saw. I think his tonsils and adenoids may be obstructing his airway.
Unfortunately I woke up at 4 a.m very sick to my stomach, throwing up. I was pretty upset because I knew caring for the boys would be hard enough, but throwing up made everything even harder. We missed church and I really needed church. Tom and Gabriel did what they could to help me, but I needed Tom to care for the group home clients! So the 4 youngest kids jumped in and played with the boys like they were toy dolls and everyone was entertained enough to be happy. It took until 9 p.m. for me to feel better. Good thing because they have a Dr appt. at 8 a.m. sharp tomorrow.
So we made it through day one. I think more food was spit out than taken in. They are very fussy eaters, everything must be smooth and liquidy or they gag and store the lumps in their mouths. They don't chew or suck. You have to spoon food over the tongue to the back of the mouth. Hard to do- they don't open their mouths well and they hold their heads down- giving no eye contact. They "drink" from cups with lots of tongue thrusting. They don't like bottles or sippy cups. Julius has chewed and flattened the edges of his tongue. The diapers we bought (Luvs)feel like air!! LOL! But so far no diaper digging. Julius will wiggle nonstop during diaper changes.
They are very loud but the sounds they make are not like "normal" toddlers. They are like loud wails. They do not look like they are experiencing any discomfort as they "wail". I can turn their heads to look at me to try to distract them, but they try to go back to "wailing". They do show sadness and frustration. Paul likes to hold his breath. They do cry loudly if they don't get their way. They love to spit. A curious thing is they show no fear. We have dogs. Big dogs over 100 pounds, and little dogs 25 lbs and 7 pounds. The boys do not even acknowledge their existence even as they lick their faces.
I think they are in survival mode because they are once again in a new environment trying to fit in the only way they know how. The blessings they bring are adding up quickly. :o)
Tomorrow is a new day!