Saturday, August 14, 2010

I spent 9 hours in the van driving yesterday to get to and from the Little Rock Children's Hospital. It was brutal but well worth the drive. The kids did SO well! We spent three hours meeting with different specialists, a pharmacist, a nutritionist, a social worker, and even the director of their international adoption clinic there. It was beautiful to watch a Russian speaking doctor talking to Zoya and seeing her face light up to understand what he was saying to her. I could see she understood him very well as she tried to answer, although he said her speech is almost unintelligible. Bless her little heart. We are working on a plan to get that corrected. She has picked up a few words this past week which I can understand: no, yeah, uh-oh, drink, potty, Daddy, Mama....and get this......I love you. She's only heard me say it a hundred times or so. :)

I was so glad we scheduled for yesterday and not for in a few weeks when John could accompany me. Because when I showed the nurse the medications we were giving she caught a huge mistake. Since we started out with 3 medications, and we were going to add one and combine two, when we came home with three medications that seemed perfect to me. But they didn't tell me that they decided not to combine the two, so there were actually supposed to be 4 medications.  The nurse caught the fact that one was missing. And when she called the pharmacy in Tulsa they found it in their refrigerator. They had forgotten to give it to us. Yikes! I had a panic attack because it was the one medication I was told was the most important and it was important to NEVER miss a dose, and I assumed I had been giving it all week in a combination drug. And here we had missed seven doses in a row!

Don't panic, the doctor said. Just start back up and don't let it happen again. We have absolutely no medical records for either kid, so we had to start from scratch drawing bloodwork and titers, and TB tests and x-rays. Poor little Zoya was a great little trooper until the nurse came in and put on her purple rubber gloves. Then she panicked and screamed but I was so glad she finally has a mama to hold her hand and sing to her when she has to endure difficult procedures.

Rumor has it we will be getting a specialist in Tulsa in a couple of months so soon we won't have to make the long drive to Little Rock. Until then we have to go every 3 weeks.

The highlight of the day was getting to drop in on our new friends the Lorraines. We had met them while in Ukraine, they were adopting a little girl with cerebral palsy. It took a lot of blood sweat and tears to bring those three children home (well, and prayers), and yet there they were, all three of them, sitting together in the Lorraines living room in Little Rock after enjoying a lovely lunch together. It was so good for my soul to see them. Thank you Lord for little blessings. Unfortunately we couldn't get them to sit still to get a photo, but you'll just have to trust me. It was wonderful! Here is a photo of their kids, I stole it from their blog.

I was tired of hearing the kids complain about their chores so I asked John to please have a talk with them. Thursday evening after dinner John said I hear you guys are tired of doing chores. I'd like to give you an opportunity to never have to do chores again. Would you all like that? Oh yes they would! So he instructed them to each get a pillow, a blanket, a toothbrush, and 2 changes of clothes and follow him. They did. He introduced them to their new home, the barn. He said they were welcome to come to "our" house for meals but they would be expected to clean up afterward. Otherwise they can spend the days and nights in the barn doing whatever they feel like. He said if they ever decide they want to come live with us again they must sign a contract first.

Which they all did, an hour and a half later. Once the coyotes started howling and the mosquitos started biting. hee hee

Ava pretends to brush her hair, she does this often.
I can't decide if it makes me laugh or makes me sad.

Simeon has been trying very hard to catch a raccoon. So far he has caught a possom and a stray cat but no raccoon. I thought we'd be good citizens and offer the cat a new home, but he didn't want anything to do with us.

How sweet is this, drawn by Hope. This is one scrap of paper that I will NEVER be able to throw away.

Here is a picture of my two 5 year old girls. So far they get along very well. They love to dress up together. One girl weighs 49 pounds, the other weighs 21 pounds. One is 47 inches tall, the other is 38 inches tall. One wears a 5/6, the other wears infant clothes. One plots on the growth chart, the other is far, far below.

One is starting kindergarten next week, the other is staying home to get healthy and fattened up.

For various reasons we are homeschooling 4 children and sending three to school this year. We are excited about a new program, Classical Conversations, that we will be starting up next week with Liesel, Jude and Simeon. I'll be working with Zoya on language primarily, in addition to getting her healthy. Ava will have her last year at the Little Lighthouse and Hope will start public kindergarten, which is just across the street. I'll keep Joseph home for a couple of months but the plan is to get him in special ed kindergarten. He and Hope will go to the same school which she is very excited about. It's going to be crazy busy I'm sure but I wouldn't trade my life for anything!


Larsen Family said...

I am so excited that you found a specialist in Little Rock. I know that isn't really close, but at least it isn't in FL or something. :)

Good Luck with school. My 3 start on Monday. We met the teacher last night and it went well.

jennifer... said...

What sweet updates on everyone! I like that strategy for getting the kids to appreciate their chores. Wonder if a doghouse would work as well as a barn...

junglemama said...

Oh precious Ava. I think I would laugh and cry.

Mamapierce said...

We had the same thing with Iryna when we brought her home. She could understand russian when my brother-in-law spoke it, but when she spoke - it was almost impossible to know what she was saying.

HOWEVER, her english is super clear and easy to understand. We just said that she was obviously meant to speak english and not russian! ha ha!

JennyH said...

great updates on all the kids. The chore trick is pretty cute!

Hope school goes smoothly for everyone.

Tim Rovenstine said...

All of this is quite touching, to your dad, as I read it on the road here in Mexico

Tim Rovenstine said...

Only wish we could be closer to help out and just enjoy everybody!! So happy this phase has come!! Hugs and kisses from Oma and Opa in Mexico

amyl4 said...

Okay, I teared up when I saw Ava combing her hair.:(
Hope and Zoya are precious, what gifts you have been given!

mommajeane said...

I love your solutions to grumbling. What a precious family. I love how Zoya loves shoes too.You can see her joy all over her face when she is wearing them. They all look like the transition is going well. If you ever want a second medical opinion I can share some of what we have been thru with our 4 children with cleft lip/plalate issues.

Cammie Heflin said...

Sounds like an awesome plan! Hopefully sometime this fall we can come by for a visit after the kids have adjusted some! Miss you guys!

Molly said...

Can't tell you how much I love your family. Love, love, love everything about you guys. A little weird probably, but I am okay with it...hope you are. I am searching high and lo for lots of bloomers for Zoya. Let me know if you decide they won't work and I will stop!

LOVE the chores agreement. We had a similar talk, mine wasn't so creative and Owen told me when he grows up he won't clean up because he just won't have any kids. What? I reminded him of the mess he makes all by himself!

Anonymous said... much going on. Glad all is going well. Great idea about the barn!!!! All I have is a fort but I'll let them carry their sleeping bags. (I'm nice that way)

Hope school goes well for everyone!


Bethany said...

I knew Zoya was tiny, but oh my goodness, seeing her with another 5 year old and realizing just how teeny tiny she really is :( :( :( Is she undernourished because of the cleft palate? I'm sure her speech is also due to that. Hopefully she will be able to have surgery soon after she is settled and her transition is solid. Keep us posted!

Amy said...

What a precious family you have. I started following your blog right before you went to get Zoya and Joseph. What gifts they are! We are getting a special gift from Hong Kong this fall ourselves and we can hardly wait. Blessings to you all!
~Amy Allen