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 THE BOYS PICTURE TO READ OUR FAMILY BLOG

Saturday, December 31, 2011

All we can say is WOW! surgery dates - prayers needed


We have been OVER BLESSED with donations! WOW! Our kids ages 7,8,9 and 11 are running in circles jumping for JOY!!
Gabriel almost 17 is a little more reserved! LOL!
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Me, I just fall to my knees Thanking God!
I am overwhelmed with the LOVE you all have for our three precious boys. I say "our" boys, but we all know that they are God's boys!
We continue to pray for all of you who are donating and praying for our boys!
We are so humbled!
God Bless!
We can never say this enough!
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Surgery dates are scheduled-
Pauly's is January 10th- circumcision/tonsils/adenoids/extensive ear wax removal. Here in town. Both ends. Ouchie!
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Julius' is Jan. 31, at the Children's Hospital about 70 miles away. Circumcision/exploratory surgery through the belly button area to find missing testicles, bring both down if possible. (otherwise start to move them and follow up surgery to complete moving them in 6 months) adenoids and tonsils removed. Poor baby that's alot. And both ends. Tom will be going with him, we will be home. :o(
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Please pray that their surgeries go well and that Julius' surgery turns out to be simple and easy to complete without any surprises or unknown concerns.
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We are praying that we will have lots of opportunities to witness to the people we meet; so we can encourage them to join us in adopting these precious children (with special needs) that are available all over the world! When they see all of the fun we are having- they'll want to join us by adopting their very own little pumpkin!
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((((((((HUGS)))))))) everybody!!
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

Friday, December 30, 2011

THANK YOU!!


Another precious donation to our three boys!
Thank You! So much!
Praise God for your kindness!
God Bless you all!
((((HUGS))))) and prayers from us to you!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Our new normal!


These two boys are different as night and day. But they are not different in their slow adjustment to family life. Pauly pictured smiling, will generally allow a photograph to be taken. But Julius-pictured with Hope, will avoid having his picture taken at all cost.
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Sometimes when I read other adoption blogs I am sad. So many of the kids are progressing and healing emotionally so much better than our boys. I find myself wishing my boys were so happy and friendly! Our boys are very behind developmentally for their ages. Even more so than most kids with DS. I shouldn't even compare them to the other kids I read about. But it's hard to see so many of the other family's children excited and happy about their new lives; while our boys avoid even "looking" around their environment. They are not observing our routines or interested in recognizing cues of what to do. Some of this still seems grief related.
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Pauly usually finds one of us to sit on or he sits alone. He even looks for a place to lay flat on his back-alone. Always doing his repeated-rhythmic hand movements, stiffening his body, contorting his head, hissing and spitting.
He has quit slapping his face and grinds his teeth much less. But he still doesn't respond to us appropriately. He knows us from strangers, but he just likes to "exist" with us.
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Julius is "hyper"! Always on the move. Moving quickly from one activity to the next. Throwing toys, taking toys. Grabbing lamps, pulling blankets off of everyone's bed! Crying to get his way. Demanding, and yet we can't understand what exactly he wants so in frustration he cries and spits. He just wants to "get away" from everyone. But we don't know where he wants to go! So we have to keep him near.
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None of these things deter us from LOVING them. We LOVE them unconditionally. They do like that we LOVE them, even if they don't reciprocate. We kiss them and hold them alot! Sometimes we just wonder how can we reach them or if they are reachable. They often still "act" like they are in an orphanage. Will they ever relax and just be little boys? If we sit them together they turn back to back to each other. They never communicate with each other. If we try a group picture, Julius tries to escape. Pauly goes into his "stiff" mode.
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Will they learn to say "hi" or "goodnight" or call us mom and Dad? The skills are there. The desire to do so is not. Their hearts are not willing to open up to us in any intimate way. They don't know how to reach out to us. Waking them each day-we smile and tell them "good morning", but it means little to them. Julius can clap hands, he's shown his brothers and sisters. But he won't show Tom or I. He "plays" dumb. (Our little RADish Molly used to "play" dumb when she didn't want to attach with us.) Is Julius showing signs of RAD? We've already bonded to him regardless! :o)
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Our boys don't act like typical kids with DS. Pauly acts like a boy who has Autism and happens to have DS. Julius acts like a child with RAD who happens to have DS. The DS may "soften" these things. We wonder how much their developmental delays add to the "wall" they have built around them. And then of course being raised in an orphanage has not helped their mental health either.
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These things are not bad things. They just are what they are. We wish our boys could feel our LOVE . And relax and enjoy their day more,rather than stress about things so much. They both are very serious. No matter how hard they laugh, they always return to being very serious, on guard.
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What I love is that God sent us these boys because He knew we were the parents they needed. We are humbled. We are overjoyed! No matter what- they are our precious boys!

Monday, December 26, 2011

We are crying tears of JOY!


Our boys are so LOVED! By people who are selfless. People who may never meet them, hug them or see them in person. Beautiful people who pray for them and are helping us pay for their expenses to come HOME!
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THANK YOU! God Bless you!
We are humbled. We are crying tears of joy!

THANK YOU!!!!!! Oh my goodness!!


We are so excited! We have received more donations for our three precious boys!! This helps our boys tremendously!!
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THANK YOU!! God Bless you!!
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We can't "see" who donated. But we have been praying daily for those who have donated. God knows who you are!!
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(((HUGS)))

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Our hearts for adoption



We've come home with 11 previous adoption bundles of joy over the last 29 years. All from America. One was abused way beyond what a mother should ever do to the gift God gave her. Others were hurt emotionally. Some were given to us after birth. Each one precious. Each one sent from God. I used to tell my oldest girls (Shirley and Angel) that some lovely woman somewhere was carrying my baby! :o)
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I tell people all the time, that God already knows who will birth the child and who will parent the child. Because it is His plan, not ours. He is the creator of adoption. He adopted us. None of us belong to each other, we all belong to Him only. He orchestrates our lives and allows us to make choices. The choice of adoption or being adopted by God is beautiful!
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It crushes my heart when I hear those who were adopted say some of the cruelest things against adoption, out of their pain. I understand the pain of being raised by parents who aren't the best. I was never adopted and my parents were not good parents. But I don't speak out against "birth" parents. As adoptive parents we are criticised easily by lots of people. We are expected to be more perfect than birth parents. Birth parents can have excuses. But because we "chose" to parent, we shouldn't have flaws.
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Is that fair? Is it fair to tell me I failed my daughter as a parent because we aren't the same color? Because I didn't give birth to her? Should I need to have Down Syndrome to raise a child with DS? This is so much silliness that causes pain and division among us.
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Is it fair to say that if my grown birth son doesn't speak to me because of his mental illness, that that's his choice. But if my adopted adult son doesn't speak to me because of his mental illness, I must have done something wrong in how I raised him? I mean seriously, I've failed everyone because I'm human, not because they are adopted or birthed by me.
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Even with all of that. I too had my own prejudices in adoption. I thought that we should only adopt here, in our Country. Our children here needed us first. I was fine with sending money to other Countries to help orphans. But to go all the way there and bring one back, when a child here waits. Nope.
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So in 2009, with our youngest child 5 years old and our oldest child 33 years old we thought we should adopt again. And we prepared ourselves. Each child has added alot of work and changes in our lifestyle. So we needed to think about what we would be able to handle at this stage of our lives. As we were considering, children were becoming available and we were asked if we wanted to submit our Home Study. Of course we did!
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We also called adoption agencies and asked. Even agencies that had placed with us before told us our family was too big, we were too old, the "square footage" of our house was too small, homeschooling would frowned upon. We were crushed.
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No wonder there are waiting children here in America. In fact in our sate, the next target group they are "considering" to target, to adopt these waiting children are- single career women. Nope, not "old" people. And yet we have the experience and time needed.
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The government has destroyed adoption as we knew it. 29 years ago when we started, in the early years if you had the love- you adopted. We have had to use the amount of square footage of our house to qualify as a licensed Group Home, or for a Foster Care or Day Care license. But adoption had always been- take your blessing home, love them and they will share the same square footage your other kids share!
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If you love them, who needs square footage? The hoops they wanted us to jump through this time excluded us over and over. On top of all of that our Social Worker was not doing much to help us! She ended up getting removed from the agency. We think she was prejudiced.
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But that was God's plan! :o) God knew that we needed a heart adjustment regarding International adoption and orphans. So He kept leading me to http://reecesrainbow.org/ . My heart needed to be softened because we were never going to adopt outside of the Country.
Our hearts were always wanting to adopt a child with DS; because of the many children and adults with DS we have and still care for in our home. Two gifts/children we adopted who had/have DS. (one now in Heaven) So the faces of the children on RR with DS kept calling to us.
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Then we saw that the beautiful Country of Bulgaria had no age limit and large families were welcome. We were in love! The rest is history. But we had to have a huge heart adjustment to realize that it did not matter where our child was. We couldn't be "adoption snobs" if our hearts were really for adoption. We needed to go where God sent us. I remembered thinking we were like Jonah not wanting to go to Nineveh. Because we did not want to go to Florida! LOL! But now Nineveh had moved all the way to Eastern Europe!!
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God sent us Julius and Pauly.
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If you've never adopted Internationally, I don't even have words adequate to describe it to you. If you've never adopted an orphan from an orphanage, you just can't even imagine. Just do it. You'll be glad you did!
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People ask me every day. "How are the boys doing?" And I tell them I don't know where to start. These boys are so special, so very very special. These boys are the easiest children to love that we have ever parented. It's not their DS. It's not their ages. It's not their personalities. I wish I knew what it was. Whatever it is, it is from God. Even through all of the hardships two little boys from orphanages bring. There is this overwhelming urge to just LOVE them as they are. No expectations. I wondered allowed to a friend once that maybe it's because they NEED so much love. They are like huge sponges, soaking up all of the love you give them. They never learned to ask. They used to push us away. But now that they know we aren't going to stop loving them. They just soak us up each and every day. It is so wondrous and joyful to experience. And to think we almost missed it because we didn't want to adopt from another Country.
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This is our gift at Christmas!

Friday, December 23, 2011

THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!


We have received another blessing! Another donation! Thank You SO much! God Bless you!!
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Today we drove 140 miles round trip to get our Biometric Fingerprints. There were 6 of us. And they cost $85.00 each. This is our Christmas gift to each other. We don't "need" anything. And our children have more than enough.
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But this little boy- our Noah Faithful. He does need something! He needs a forever family! And we Thank God that He chose us to be Noah, Moses and Jacob's forever family!
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When we got home Thursday from doing the prints, we saw a bill from the State for our Group Home license. It had more than doubled! My heart sank. Last year it was $450.00, this year $981.00. We had just paid our Commercial auto policy for the Group Home, another $908.00. You have to buy a very expensive auto policy to drive "clients". So we have been hit hard this month.
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You might think that we get paid enough from the Group Home to cover these things. Yes, we used to. But in the last 3 years, the State has reduced our income every year. Some group homes lost 10%! Praise the Lord ours was less than that. Our gals/clients have also had increases in things they have to pay for like higher co-pays on medicines, and they only get one dental visit a year now, they must pay for the more. We help them with paying these since we love them like family. But now this is becoming more impossible for us to do. There are big changes coming in Group Home care. We'll trust in Him as we face them.
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However, please know that we are not complaining! All of it is God's money. The State can do what they'd like. The bills can come. We will forge ahead firm in our faith, Thanking God! Because He has blessed us beyond what we deserve.
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After our finger prints were done on Thursday, we called USCIS, we are not assigned a worker yet. :o( We so wanted these prints approved by Friday p.m. We continue to pray! We pray for God's timing.
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We want to (((HUG))) these boys soon!! Isn't Noah just a doll?
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Thank YOU! for loving these boys with us!!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

saving money on hair

We can't save money on Dr bills. But there are lots of things we do to save money on!
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One is I cut everyone's hair except mine. I get mine cut 2-3 times a year for $17.00 a cut. That's a $12.00 cut plus a $5.00 tip. I tip big because my daughter Angel was a Beautician and I know how hard she worked before she went home with Jesus. I tip in her memory.
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I started doing hair 30 years ago. Before that we went to the hair dressers. I learned how to hot comb from a dear Sister in Christ, eighteen years ago. I taught myself how to press, straighten, braid, bead, and cut naturally stick straight hair. My daughter Hope (18) had told me she wanted to do hair when she was small. So I taught her as well as I did hair and now she is my one blessing who can work it with a straightener and a brush like nobodies biz! :o) (hugs-Hopie!)
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My favorite is cutting curly hair! Oh how I love cutting curly hair! And I do like hot combing my Miss Lovey's hair. She's 21 but she still lets me! Stick straight hair is hard to cut. My Molly, my blessing from Korea, not only had straight hair but could not hold her head up and was in a wheel chair. Hair cuts were a challenge!
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Tonight it was boy's hair cut night! Five boys ages-16,16,7,4 & 4! (soon it will be 3 more!)
I give buzz cuts to my boys because I LOVE boys heads! Brown heads and pale beige heads! The hair grows back so fast, it's crazy. They are just so cute! And well we have a strong military back ground!
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Gabe had let his hair grow this fall; explaining to me that the bugs would bother him during our 5 weeks up north if he got his hair cut. So we let it go and what a mess! He refuses to comb his hair and he's almost 17. Even Dad said "Cut his hair!" LOL!
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Julius, Pauly, Samson, and Isaiah did get their hair cut at the end of August and it was already loooong! J & P were looking like they had "bed head" hair!
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So we cut Pauly's first. He was happy because he was staying up later than usual. He held perfectly still- Wa-La! We were done. We told him "BRAVO!" He just sat. He slowly started to shake and made his "I'm in pain" face and started to cry!! Hey we were done! LOL!! We loved him up and put him to bed. He was so cute, but not happy!
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Julius had watched Pauly. He seemed to act like all was great. As soon as the clippers touched his head he tried to grab them! So Lysa held his arms and Isaiah held his legs and I held his head! He was having none of it! It went pretty fast. He didn't cry or complain. He just tried to escape! When I was done he went into his bed which was moved closer to the wall to make room for hair cutting. The lighting is perfect in their room. As quick as lightning, to pay me back he ran to the end of the bed to grab a hat rack and rip it off the wall. Oh! My! Stinker! We had him lay down!
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The other 3 boys cuts were un-eventful and they were thrilled. They love to show everybody, and look in the mirror!
We saved $70.00. I'm so glad I can do it!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Good news

This was posted on Shelley's FB page. This was exciting news for us!
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"I am VERY pleased to be able to share that the director at the orphanage in Bulgaria where children with special needs were neglected, starved, etc has been FIRED!!!! That orphanage is NOT indicative of the level of care that most orphans in Bulgaria receive and the abuse that those children experienced directly conflicts everything that the Bulgarian government is trying to do for the children in their care. Once they were made aware of what was happening to the children, they took immediate action and that director is GONE.
Today, we are thanking the Lord for those who saw the abuse and were brave enough to report it to the appropriate authorities(because many before had turned a blind eye) and that those in the Bulgarian government with the power to do so put their actions behind their words and laws. I have said many times that Bulgaria's adoption program, their policies in regards to orphan care and their pro-active government stance on adoption and orphan care is the one that all of Eastern Europe should model. There is no such thing as a "great" situation when
a child is an orphan, but orphans CAN be taken proper care of while families are sought for them when those in charge DO THE RIGHT THING. Today, we rejoice that the children in this orphanage will finally start receiving the care that they deserve!!!! (as a side note, there are FOURTEEN children w/SN from that place that now have committed families!)"
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Thank You Shelley! I couldn't have said it better!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

surgeries

This was last March. I can't believe that this boy in the picture is my boy! He looks so different! (Julius)
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His brother Pauly is having surgery here in our city, next month.
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Julius has to travel to a city 60 miles away for his surgery because he needs a pediatric specialist. Tom and Julius will go there alone. The rest of us will be here. It will be hard. We've done it before with another child- but the separation is always hard.
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When you adopt you always wonder what the unkowns will be. These surgeries were not a surprise to us, but they were unknown. Julius' need for pediatric specialty care was a surprise. We had hoped both boys could get their medical care locally. I know I shouldn't worry. But he's so little and to have him so far away. It will be hard.
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Tom is a fantastic dad.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Love-love-love my BG boys!!

This is Pauly with his sister Grace.
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Tonight I was on the computer looking for a little riding toy for the boys. I noticed a little person to my left was cautiously eyeing me!
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Julius had escaped his siblings un-noticed. He was wondering if he was busted when I saw him!! LOL!
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We call Julius "the thin man". Remember this old character? He was kind of like the invisible man, only his "power" was thinness. Julius is built naturally thin and the more he walks-the faster he runs! If you aren't careful he slips away!!
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I hugged him and loved on him and held him on my lap for about 4 minutes before two big sisters and one big brother started whispering to themselves "Where is he??!!"
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They soon found him and took him back. It was a precious moment for me because Julius and Pauly used to run away from us. Randomly destroying things! Now they run to us!
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Last week the Social Worker came to write the 6 month postplacement report for BG due 1/4/2012. I was sick, the boys were sick. The boys had to see her, I got to lay in bed. ;o) Tom visited with her. He said the boys were so stressed when they saw her. They think that each time new people come to visit, that it is not good. We had hoped the memories of Tom's first visit would be happy for them. But now we see that they equate visits from new people (as Tom was then) with being moved or taken away. :o( I hope and pray that someday soon they will be able to meet and greet people with curiosity and joy.
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They just grow more precious each day.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Coming soon!

In February there will be an auction here for our boys!!
If you would like to donate anything please e-mail me at tarcher30@charter.net
We will need a picture to go with it.
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I am very excited! As I mentioned before three boys need three VISAs and three plane tickets, as well as adding to the hotel bill three times! Plus our Gabriel will need to travel with Tom to help- that is two more plane tickets! OY! As you can see it adds up fast! :o)
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(((HUGS))) everybody!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

YES!!!


YEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSS!!!
Did you hear us ALL screaming!! Our fingerprint letters from Immigration came!! ALL six of us are going on 12/22 to have our prints done for Immigration. After that they will issue our Approval!!
YEEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Another donation!


Thank You! Thank You!!
God Bless you for being so kind and helping our 3 luv bugs.
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Our boys are so blessed by all who care and help them. Noah 8 yrs old has waited too long for someone to care. And Moses and Jacob both are going to be 7 in a few months- have waited too long. Way too long.
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We had our check cashed at USCIS on 11/17 and each day wait for the mail man to bring us the Finger print letters! It feels like days!! ;o)
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We had help with donations bringing Julius and Paul home too. We hug our boys knowing that others cared to help them come home, and they still care about them even now.
Thank You!!
(((HUG)))

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

So many changes!!


After the initial shock of realizing the boys will- avoid eye contact at all cost, hate going outside, avoid adult women who remind them of orphanage staff, are afraid of taking baths, have no interest in anything except running and crawling in the oposite direction of us, grinding their teeth, spit, bite, and groan 24/7. (this is only a small summary) We have begun to see exciting new behaviors!
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Each week we saw them accepting their new lives with us a little more, and grieving for everything they knew, a little less. And then we saw them start to do the things that were amazing!
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Pauly has a toy that says "turn the wheels to change a word" and he does!! Pauly responds to voices of people he likes with excitement and anticipation. He cries when he's sad. He likes a few toys. He doesn't pick a toy, we just have to give him one. He walks holding one hand. He did LOVE his vibrating teether, but he wore it out in 2 months and they are expensive! He is responding to his environment a little more each week.
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Julius walks every where!! He walks from one bedroom to another to get a toy! Instead of knocking things over and breaking them, he pushes them away from himself! LOL!! He actually plays with things he likes! We let him pick his toys and he has real preferences for what he likes. He uses play tea cups to "pretend" he's drinking. (The boys almost freaked out when they saw play food, they had no idea about what that was about!!) He likes to sit with me when I crochet and he hands me yarn! He's a very quick learner and very smart. It is going to be fun to teaching him! One day he was sitting with me and I put him down to go play with his sibs, instead he turned around and came back to me! He climbs into chairs by himself. Amazing!
We often think that Julius must have recieved more attention, because he likes to "work" people with his antics. Pauly we think recieved much less attention, he gave up and withdrew. Now we have to give him reasons to "come out". It's hard. We could sing long praises about Julius' abilities, but Pauly's lack of abilities do not make us love him any less.
Both boys have fit into our family better than we ever could have imagined and each day with them is filled with love. The other day Tom told me I knew how to pick the best children. That was so sweet of him, but it isn't me!! :o) It's God!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Medical Bill Frustration

We buy our own health insurance because I am self employed. The cost is now over $1,200.00 per month for a $5,000.00 deductible policy.
The boys have now seen the Urologist and the pediatric Urologist several times- not covered, the pediatric cardiologist- not covered, the ENT several times- not covered, Urgent Care twice- not covered, the pediatrician-not covered. Labs over $1,000.00- not covered.
WOW!
We cannot make an appt. for anyone to see a Dr at our clinic until we pay down the huge bill which also includes things for the rest of the family- like adoption physicals and Urgent Care visits- also not covered by Insurance.
So we begin to wonder, why do we have Insurance?? UGH!
We have upcoming surgeries for both boys. More Drs, added to Hospital charges.
The biggest frustration is the "new" payment plan. Just this summer when we were all paid up; but didn't know we still owed $10.09, the clinic threatened sending it to collections???!! Seriously????- we didn't even get a bill from them. Computer error----of course. :o(
Now they want everything paid in full, which we had always done within a few months for them for over the last 34 years until now. Now there's too many bills and we have to decide who gets what. They don't like that. We are not their "patients" anymore. We are now a computer print out. :o(
I think the president's changes are making things worse already. Just my humble opinion.