My baby is home from the hospital. Everything went well. It was a long drive to the specialty hospital and the surgery was 2 1/2 hours long. They got to come home right away. ~~~~~~~~ There have been some amazing changes with this boy recently. This precious little boy who has stolen my heart and wrapped it all around himself! He is starting to love us back! His personality is very wary of people and he does not trust easily. He is accepting us more and more each day as his family. Oh the joy this brings us! My heart could explode! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Last night I put him in the bath tub, cleaning him up for surgery. The bath tub is a place he has feared so much that he would shut down and not react. He would be frozen in fear. Last night when I set him in the tub he only held onto the sides of the tub with his hands. He let me gently put them to his sides. He sat and stayed there happily. He looked at me as if to say he knew it wouldn't hurt him. I cried. He trusted me. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ At the hospital after surgery, Tom could see that he was not afraid of the nurses or the Dr. as they woke him and tended to him. But as soon as he saw Dad- he cried out to him! He trusts Tom to care for his fears. We are now important to him! He wants us! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The surgery on the left side did not go as well, but the Dr found a solution to fix things so that he will not need future surgery. We will have to watch closely for infection. He has 3 incisions. He is in pain. He cries so sadly. He has pain medication that helps but makes him wobbly. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Thank you for your prayers!! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ On my last post Anonymous commented that Julius had "bed head" in his photo. You bet he does! Aren't little boys supposed to have silly hair with cowlicks and sleepy patterns on it? That's something I love about my little boys. Soon enough, he'll comb his hair just right, but for now, we tussle that hair and head all day long! :o)
Monday we notarized our I800A approval, Tom drove it to the cities (140 miles round trip) to apostille it. It was our last piece of 15 documents apostilled and notarized with family pictures for our Dossier. I was finally able to put our entire Dossier together!! ~~~~~~~~~ Tuesday we over-nighted our entire Dossier UPS to dear precious adoptive parents who will carry it to EE for us on Saturday! ~~~~~~~~~~~ On Tuesday Tom also went to Social Security to get Julius and Pauly's SS numbers. He was told it was not possible without a birth certificate from our state! This is not true, our adoption does not need to be finalized here, it was finalized in Bulgaria. Tom had shown the Social Security workers- their passports, their Bulgarian Birth Certificates translated in English, Hague act papers, their Certificates of (United States) Citizenship. Nope, two workers, two separate times said that "our" embassy must translate the documents?? (UPDATE- today-Thurs. we got a letter to each child stating that their SS cards will be here in 2 weeks!! What?? We had called Michelle Bachman's office for help! Her office hadn't even helped us yet- and now? we get them?? Bachman's office has someone to help specifically with International adoption- he's calling us tomorrow!) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Tuesday night I also filled out our 2nd stage documents times 3. (sent to our government when Tom gets back from trip 1 with papers to add to it) One for each boy- Noah, Moses, Jacob. The I800 is long!! I had saved copies of Julius & Pauly's to jog my memory! I only need to fill out their expenses page yet. I want these forms submitted as soon as Tom gets off the plane 2nd trip! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Wed. I had an annual meeting for one of our gals. These meetings are a review of the entire year- goals, objectives, Risk Management Plan, medical, behaviors etc- etc- etc. All I could think about during the meeting was adoption-adoption-adoption! LOL! So I was pretty clueless and useless. I felt like my "game" was off. The gal I work with was very kind and told me I did great! LOL! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Thurs. we went to the police station to re-do our FBI prints "just in case" our others expire or the EE country's newly elected official request it. FBI prints take 8 weeks and then 4 more weeks to federally apostille. Ours were done in April 2011 and federally apostilled June 2011. Now if EE decides those are too old, even tho they are supposed to be good for 18 months, we should be ready! Phew! So hopefully by Tom's first trip- which we pray is April or May the FBI stuff will be ready!!? We UPSd our prints over night to the FBI. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Tomorrow- Friday I go back to my pile of paperwork for the annual meeting. ugh. I hate paperwork and then on to our taxes! Owning a business makes taxes hard- I'll need all of Feb. to do them. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ It does feel great to get so much done this week! We had forgotten tho that we need $1,420.00 for the 2 added I800 forms- because there are 2 extra boys un-related being adopted. And $1,212.00 for Visas for 3 boys. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Re-reading their medicals we see more surgeries for all 3. Tonsils and adenoids, and 2 boys have undescended testicles. Possible eye surgery for two also. Here we go again! LOL! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Not much is written about seniors with DS. My precious MA has finally hit the "world's" standard of a senior citizen. But if you have that extra something special, you age much earlier than others. So MA was really a senior citizen in her early 40s. ~~~~~~~~~~ In her early 40s we decided working in the community was no longer an option for her and she joined the Senior citizen program for adults with disabilities. She has never qualified for Senior benefits there, like free dinners etc. Because her "age" was under 55 yrs or 65 yrs old! This is not fair because many people with DS do not live to 65. And by age 65 we can already tell that MA will be home with us and unable to attend the Senior program any longer. They should really take that into consideration but they won't. :o( ~~~~~~~~~~~ Excuse the rash on her face. Winter wind burn on her delicate skin is hard to fight. She'll rub a napkin over and over it, removing the lotion we put on for it! ~~~~~~~~~~~
These photos were taken in her bedroom. She loves pink so she made me paint the room pink for her! It had been painted purple before for her room-mate Susie.
MA has become quite the pack rat. She saves everything now and even digs in waste baskets for treasures! We really need to weed through her stuff, but I hate to make her angry. She loves to spend alot of time in her room and the bathroom. It is getting harder and harder to get her out of these two rooms and into the kitchen or dining room to spend time with us! ~~~~~~~~~~~
In the top photo she is modeling a prayer shawl I made for our fund raiser. She really is this cute and sweet and we just love all of the hugs we get from her!
She is sorting her socks from the laundry in the other three pictures. This takes her several hours to do now as she likes to inspect each sock before matching it up.
MA won the Citizenship Award from our city in the 90's. She was a model citizen in our community! Everyone knows her and loves her. We share her with everybody! But God chose us to be her 2nd family for the last 25 years! She always used to remember our anniversary- July 17th. The day she moved in with us. But her memory is failing now. She used to put her Christmas stocking on her bedroom door handle for Santa, but she now forgets that too. So we do it for her.
Her room-mate Susie lived with us 16 years until Alzheimer's took her home to Jesus. Susie was only 44 but if you add the pre-mature aging from DS, she was closer to 64. Now MA has Alzheimer's, MA's is progressing much slower, but still it is progressing. We've been down this road before with Susie, it is familiar road, in a sad way. We cherish that God chose us to go down this road with Susie and now MA. Even though it is a hard road. We are honored to hold their hands and wipe their brow.
It is so easy to spoil MA. She is sweet and funny and huggable. We tell her this every day. We just absolutely adore her. The hard part is then she often uses this against us when she is having a tantrum. She wants everything her way! She argues that the mean things she does are not "her" fault. That "she" did not do it. She can slam doors, throw and break things and hit hard! The best remedy is to sit it out with her at a distance, ignoring her. She'll tire of arguing and realize if she wants to talk to us she needs to set things right.
When the dementia first hit MA became very quiet and did not communicate verbally much. This lasted about 5 years. Then suddenly she became very verbal again, only now her responses were confused and very much only in the moment. She can laugh so hard, long and loud watching a movie that we can't hear it! Oh! how she loves to laugh! She doesn't remember people or names. She needs to be dressed and watched 24/7. She used to take the city bus to work and write checks. We do everything for her now, she forgets the steps and order of how simple tasks are done. She forgets to use the bathroom.
Last summer when we told her we were going on vacation she became very angry and threw a fit. She pouted and cried for days. Each year it has become harder and harder to get her to do things other than the Senior program. Once on vacation she's happy as a clam and even talks of how she doesn't want to go home!! :o) It's become difficult to get her to understand because of the dementia.
So when it came time to do her Biometric Fingerprints for Immigration, a 140 mile round trip, we lied to her. We told her we were going to drop her off at the Senior Center. She really enjoyed the ride there, but was confused, thinking eventually we were dropping her off. She cooperated super well for her fingerprints! But by the time we got home it was to late to take her to the Senior center. Thankfully she was less angry about it than she would have been if we'd told her the truth before hand.
Our group home teaches adults with disabilities- independent living skills. When MA was 30 I taught her how to live independently. She lived in her own apartment for about 6 years. It was a mile from our house and I was paid to supervise her there 24/7. By her late 30s she had developed health issues she couldn't care for on her own and she moved back in with us. The dementia first presented with paranoia and depression. As with Susie, it just didn't seem fair.
Tom and I have aged along with our gals. Our prayer is that we can care for them all of their years. But I have had health issues as well.
There is so much written about children and young adults with DS. They are so adorable and fun. But they do get old just like us. And I wanted to share a small glimpse of what that is like.
When I sit at my computer there is always a small key chain made with beads laying under the computer screen. It says "JudithPual" on it.(for Julius & Paul) MA made it for me at the Senior center in October. I cherish it.
Interesting to note- our Susie was an ornery feisty gal. But when Alzheimer's hit she became very very loving and sweet. Our MA was always a very very sweet agreeable gal. But when Alzheimer's hit she is now feisty and ornery! We never would have guessed this!
Oh! how our hearts have rejoiced to see the donations for our precious precious boys! And today another precious soul donated to our boys! Thank You! Thank You! Thank You! ~~~~~~~~~~ This afternoon our approval letter came! It will be notarized and apostilled on Monday and sent with a family to EE on the 28th! ~~~~~~~~ Praise the Lord!
Clothing for kids and adults with DS is always a challenge. Not that it isn't a challenge for other people also. Like my precious little mom who is so tiny she could wear size 16 girls clothing at age 79! But those with that extra special chromosome share some common "fitting" problems that the fashion industry does not address!
Like my big guy Samson. He's not that tall for 16, but he is built solid and physically he has always matured faster than his older by 6 months, taller thinner brother. He even got his beard way earlier than big bro! He's not my little boy anymore! He's a young man!
Shirts always have sleeves too long for Samson, and pants- forget it! When the waist fits the legs are loooong, when the leg length is right the waist is too tight! Sweat pants are great- they fit pretty good and the elastic around the ankle holds them up! But a wardrobe of sweat pants is just boring!!
So I found about 20 new pairs of pants around town that fit great, but all need to be hemmed. I'm afraid I've become so picky about having his pants fit well that I'll be sewing him pants from scratch soon! The new pants I found have sat for a year now waiting for me to cut 3 1/2 to 5 inches off, press, pin and hem. But I just don't have time for such tedious sewing!!
So tonight it hit me! Slip elastic in the already sewn hem on the pants legs! This keeps the pants up around his ankles, and it doesn't look unusual at all on his sporty looking pants. Even his camouflage pants look good this way! It's kind of the style. I've seen pants with this look that tied at the ankle. They look good now and he's not tripping! Of course this would not work with dress pants or anything fancy! But I just pulled a few threads, slipped the elastic in and was done in record time! I used fabric glue where I pulled the stitches.
Now I had more time to hem MA's nightgowns- ready made gowns are always too long! Make 4 new Duvet covers for our boys. And sew up fleece jammies for 4 little homeschoolers who needed warm jammies for our -15 below nights here!
Today was one of the most AMAZING days of answered prayer.
I wish I could tell you all of the mountains that God moved. Out of respect for other's prayer requests, I can't.
I can tell you- that our Immigration worker was finally assigned to us!!
AND OUR I800A WAS APPROVED AND MAILED THIS AFTERNOON!!
YEEEESSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!! YES! YES!!
I can also tell you that many other prayers regarding adoptions were also answered in the most positive amazing way today. Beyond what we "expected", beyond what our little human brains could imagine! God was not just opening a window or a door! He was throwing all windows and all doors open. WOW!
God IS AWESOME!
Forgive me God, for my little faith. Forgive me for my half-hearted prayers when I am tired. Forgive me for the feeble words I offer up. Forgive my pridefulness when I think my prayers are beyond good.
It will last 1 week. There will be lots of really cool things (all donated) to buy and all proceeds go to our boy's expenses- 5 plane tickets, hotel, VISA fee, passports, everything needed to care for them there for 5 days and bring them home!
That is why the Chip in says $15,000.00 needed. But never fear- whatever we do not raise in donations will be covered by our ever ready credit cards! LOL! We have a back up plan! :o)
We would love it if you would shop our auction in February to help our 3 luv bugs- Noah, Moses, and Jacob!
This precious little pumpkin has never had so many people hover over him and console him. Which is good because it hurts! ~~~~~~~~ Both ends of Pauly hurt- throat and bottom. I'm glad Julius is doing his surgeries separate. Bottom first, tonsils/adenoids second. ~~~~~~~~ Pauly HATES his liquid pain medication. He holds it in his throat as long as possible. Once it takes effect he feels so much better so the "fight" to get it down is worth it. His food has to be well buttered up to slide down and he doesn't want to drink so we have to offer sips every 15 minutes he's awake. He's sleeping so much better than pre-surgery- so that is a miracle! He's quiet!! :o) ~~~~~~~~~~~~ It still hurts so he cries. He cries because it hurts, he cries because he's sad, he cries because he's frustrated, he cries for his past, he cries for his future. Sometimes he just cries. Poor precious lamb. It is good for him to get it all out. Because we are here now to console him all the days of our lives. He will never cry alone again. ~~~~~~~~~~~ God Bless his beautiful amazing Country of birth for keeping him alive until we could get there. God Bless the staff, directors, psychologists and Drs who cared for him with very limited money, low funds and big budgets. God Bless them as they did the very best they could. But they had their own family too. Life is hard there. I will not complain about what I don't have, I have too much. Compared to them, I am beyond rich. ~~~~~~~~~~~~ I know I complain about medical bills, I am self employed and the insurance I buy has failed us with the new changes and the boys. But I thank God for what we have! When we started Julius and Pauly's adoptions we used credit cards. We had previously had only one credit card. Now we have 3. We are praying that we will get the tax deduction quickly! (my business taxes won't be done till late Feb.) But in the meantime we are now using these credit cards for Noah-Moses and Jacob. Ouch! We don't have much wiggle room. But we won't worry. We are on a mission! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ God is good! ((((HUGS)))) Please rejoice with us!
This morning at 5:30 a.m. Tom took Pauly to the Hospital for his surgeries. ~~~~~~~ Pauly was very stressed. He made his autistic gestures over an over and groaned and grunted. All the while tensing his body over and over. Poor baby. And then the nurse gave him a little something for his anxiety! He quickly melted into his happy little self! Everyone at the hospital fell in love with him! :o) They asked us how we know what he wants if he's not verbal. It is amazing to us, because we don't think of him as non-verbal. He always expresses himself very well, even though he refuses to use signs. (He also does not respond to signs. He responds to what we say.) ~~~~~~~~~ Both surgeries went very well. It was very quick! As a pre-caution they are keeping him over night. They feared that he would not drink enough or eat well afterwards. But our little butterball boy loves his food and drink, so he has already surpassed their expectations! He's eating apple sauce and drinking lots! He is crying to Tom that he wants to go home. It breaks my heart. He's not happy there of course. ~~~~~~~~~~~ I am home with SP, MA and the other 7 children. We miss Pauly here terribly. We are overjoyed that he is not facing this surgery alone. He has a family now! His Daddy is with him. He will never be alone for any medical procedure again. We can not believe that WE are his family! God chose us for him! And we LOVE every minute of him! ~~~~~~~~~~~ I talked to my mom this morning and she was worried how, with my health, I was doing things without Tom here. I was so happy to tell her that caring for our boys is NOT a burden. And the joy of them being here out weighs all that we do for them. The kids are very helpful and only SP and MA need my full attention. Tom and I usually attend to the Group Home gals together, so it is alot to do it alone. The Lord is my strength! I just started teaching Faith (soon to be 11) how to help get SP a dry depend! LOL! The highlight of maturity here is helping the Group Home gals with personal hygiene. (Oh I can just hear some of my more selfish adult kids groaning about how they hated growing up learning how to help our precious adults clean up!) ~~~~~~~~~~~ Little stinker Julius is enjoying all of the attention since he doesn't have to share with Pauly today! LOL! I think he would be sad without Pauly in his life, but for now he's enjoying the limelight! ~~~~~~~~~~~ Tom will come home at 10 and help me ready for the night. With MA's Alzheimer's my day never ends. :o) Then in the morning he'll go pick up Pauly at 6 a.m. ~~~~~~~~~~~ We rejoice in ALL He has given us! We are beyond blessed! Thank You for your prayers! We LOVE you all! (((HUGS)))
Thank you Kaylee for your insightful not funny at all jokes about my post. I requested "kind" comments. Do you read English well? Honey, you sure picked a bad day to post a gnarley comment on my blog. Sure I posted your nonsense. Only because I think it warns others that rude people like you are out there. ......lurking....... ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I run a group home here in the United States- it is illegal in the US for me to have anyone living here who is or could be a danger to children with or without disabilities. It is illegal for me to endanger my Group Home adults with disabilities. We have gone through clearances for our Group Home every year for 29 years, we are not new to this. We ARE child protection advocates, as well as protection advocates for our Group Home adults. We have had to refuse an adult with a disability from moving in with us because they could cause harm to one of our children or adults here. We do protect everyone in our home. Our Group Home has a policy to even report us, if needed. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ We've also passed ALL of these Bio-metric fingerprint appointments less than one year ago. Maybe you think we could have had time to commit a crime since August?
I have no clue who these children are that you are talking about. I have parented all 17 of my children since the day they were birthed or adopted by me. Three have died, many are over 30 years old, the oldest we adopted is 36. Show some respect to seasoned parents who are not adopting for their own convenience. By the way how many have you raised to adulthood? How many adopted?
And I damn no Country other than the US because they are holding us up- not EE.
Have a great day. And STOP picking on people you know nothing about.
Today Tom got a letter. His finger prints were not accepted by Immigration. ~~~~~~~~ cry ~~~~~~~~ He'll drive down (70 miles one way on) Monday, the new appt. is for Feb 1rst but we can't wait that long. Our boys can't wait that long. ~~~~~~~~~ We can't help but wonder, will there be any more finger print rejections? Tom's were fine last year! Are any of the other 5 of us be rejected one at a time through the mail now? ugh. ~~~~~~~~~~~ Just yesterday I was having a bad feeling about all of this. I know- God's timing, but these boys are in a bad place. Pauly has surgery on Tuesday. We did not need this.
My wild bunch of coconuts! You can see Julius is trying to escape as usual- oy! Pauly is pouting. The funny thing is that the older 4 kids don't care! They LOVE their brothers! :o) ~~~~~~~~~~~~ We are still waaaaiting for Immigration approval of our I800A. Oh! I am so tired of this waaaaaaiting. Last year this all seemed to go so much faster. This time I know the paperwork much better, but it's just not cooperating. I'm so frustrated and, well, depressed by the slowness of it all. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ When we called Immigration December 27th they said it would be 90 days from our FPs to get a worker. Last year we had a worker already when we got our FP appointments. And even with a delay they were quickly approved. This year it just makes no sense.
We drove 140 miles round trip to get (6 of us) our biometric FPs done December 22. They were busy. But not too busy.(last year there were 4 of us needing to be printed and they had us go on two different days) So we were glad to get it done at one time!
When the fingerprint appt. letter comes it has a small enclosure with a man in a wheel chair smiling on it. It asks- "Do you have a disability and need help?" and where to call. Well we would be with our gals and Samson so we didn't need to call for help. That enclosure made you think they were disability friendly. Far from the truth.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ They were so NOT happy to see 6 of us. They were so NOT happy that three of us were disabled. (So much for the smiling guy in the wheel chair.) They barely "fixed" our 6 clipboards with our forms and IDs falling off and shoved them towards us. And when I told them "I" was the one watching the three with disabilities; (Ugh-I never think of Samson, MA or SP as disabled!)the woman receptionist looked at me angrily and said "Aren't there two of you?" As if to say get Tom over here to take one. :o( ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The women who did the FPs were immigrants with accents. Who better than they to have patience with us? I'm sure they know how inconvenient the process is. Nope. They looked at us as though they had been asked to do something impossible. That they were being forced to print and touch retarded-mentally ill people. How sad.
Of course I wish Samson, MA and SP didn't have to do these dumb fingerprints too. They have absolutely no criminal history. They couldn't live in our Group Home if they did!
Our SP who is very mentally ill- cannot cooperate-she has sensory issues. It was made worse as she "sensed" the woman did not like her. So the FP woman kept threatening "This isn't going to work- tell her to stop pressing her fingers down." Finally after a few times of my asking SP not to do this, I said to the woman that SP was Mentally Ill. The woman blurted back "I Know!" Well then, I thought, why not give her a break? SPs fingerprints passed last year. This woman made it worse. We didn't dare ask her if they were o.k. SP is always hard to print even on paper.
When it was Samson's turn they had me stand by him until they saw he could understand what they requested and respond to them appropriatly. ugh!
When it was MAs turn she wet her depend and we had a few accident spots everywhere she sat- which I cleaned up. But they were looking as though they were ready to run from us.
The whole thing was so incredibly stressful! They are never "happy" there from what we've experienced with 2 prior visits. But this visit was the worst ever! I hate to think of how much worse it would have been if we'd gone earlier than our appointment date, and begged to have them done early. We over-heard them tell one man- "Next time, come an hour within your appointment time or we'll send you away." ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ We have never seen people with disabilities treated so rudely in our lives! As we left they were happy to see us go and said "Merry Christmas!" like we would "think Santa" and smile and get over it. We said Merry Christmas back- but we have never felt so unwelcome in our lives. This was one of those times where their attitude just made everything harder for them and us. :o(
I don't know why they would "threaten" that Sandra's FPs were not going to work since they were there to help us! We paid $85.00 each for these, they weren't doing us a favor. It's not our fault the government requests prints from people with no criminal background or the ability to even commit a crime!
WOW! Last night after I posted here my "little" congestion and cold turned into chills and fever. I don't get sick with viruses or colds very often, but oy when I do. :o( ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I need to be well to be with Pauly for his surgery on the 10th. I am avoiding him at all cost so hopefully he won't get this either and need his surgery re-scheduled. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Also I re-configured my comments so hopefully this will solve the problem for those whose comments weren't accepted before. ((((HUGS)))))