Monthly Archives: February 2011

Looking For a Few Good (WO)men

If you’ve been on Facebook, then you were able to read our announcement that Bulgaria is in our future!!

Yes, we originally had thought we’d go domestic—yet after hearing so many “horror stories” about people submitting time and time and time and time again (over 50 times!!) for children and being told their family is too big-children in the wonderful U.S. Foster System will wait for a feeling of permanency, family, belonging. 

We will be working again, without About A Child.  Toni, the adoption contact is checking the availability of our girl tomorrow.  We first found girl #2’s file last year when we were planning on adopting from Bulgaria.  She was the only child whose file we received, thought about, returned and did not get a family…yet.  A year later, here we are again. 

We are also possibly looking for a boy as well.  Toni is checking with the MOJ tomorrow about #2’s file and any boys in her orphanage or area.  We will surely keep you posted.

In whatever way this turns out, fact still remains:  In order for us to officially commit to any child we need to raise $2k immediately.  Fundraising is something I’m obviously familiar with.  Trying new things-something I’m also a fan of.  I know of many people who wish they could do more…but simply don’t have the funds in their own bank accounts to do so.  I’d like to try something new…are you ready for it??

We are looking for 10 volunteers.  10 people to raise $100 each.  This will bring us to half of the initial funding needed.  Though we’re definitely game for raising more!!

There are many ways to fundraise.  Selling candy bars, crafts, bake sales, collections at church, Auntie Anne’s pretzels, ink cartridge collection, Scentsy, Gold Canyon Candles, giveaways…tons of ways.  Will you please help us?  We’re confident not only that the money for our children will come in…BUT people will be doing much much more than raising money.  They will be raising adoption awareness.  I cannot express how many people told us during Mayah’s fundraising that they had no idea you could fundraise to help with adoption cost.  Can you imagine how many children will get homes when their future parents realize because of YOU who helped US they too can do the same thing?

If you are interested in helping us get to our first financial goal-please email me at If you need fundraising ideas-that’s totally my cup of tea.  Obviously I’ll be happy to get any materials off to you. 

Please pray with us friends that people rally together to help bring our children home. 

I will be also adding a chip-in with a $2,000 goal to the blog:

This is the Link to our First Chip-In!

I forgot to mention:  For every person who raises at least $100 your name will be entered into a drawing for something wonderful.  (The truth is, I have no idea what that something is quite yet…gift card, gift basket…something wonderful!) 

We encourage you to spread the word, share our blog, get it all over Facebook…do something.  We will guarantee that if we get more than 10 wonderful people to help..they will not be turned away.

Are you in??


Word-ful Wednesday

I’m so glad I have my phone to document things we do around here, otherwise I would be lost and would have forgotten everything.

This is the easiest way, by far, to update.

Mayah-Mayah still rocks herself to sleep each night.  Dan and I go in and touch her arm and quietly whisper things are going to be alright.  Sometimes she even sees us walk in her room (in the dark) and stops before we make it to her bed.  We think it’s the being alone part that really does it for her.  When she did her sleep study, she didn’t rock, when she had her first sleepover at Nana’s she did not rock. 

Yesterday we learned Mayah is far more delayed than we ever realized.  We have to absolutely start at square one with her.  Yesterday David, Mayah and I sat at the table to string beads.  David amused himself and worked on hand-eye coordination by simply stringing.  Mayah and I worked out counting to 4 and colors.  Green, yellow, pink and purple.  From playing with Alexander’s little computer she has memorized how to count if you get her started she can go up to 10 or close.  Probably more like 9.  BUT if you’re counting actual objects, she has absolutely no idea what the numbers are for.  We will keep working.  Suggestions are welcomed.  As for colors:  no matter how long we sat there, she was not retaining anything.  She guesses.  We continued to move the colored piles so they wouldn’t be in the same order to rule out memorization.  She would pout.  She would stare mindlessly.  1 of 2 things is obvious:  in the internat where she was they either a)  taught them nothing and just made it “look” like they were having school.  b)  Mayah wasn’t able to grasp anything anyway so they just wrote her off and she could get away with pouting and staring for them to leave her alone.  Either way-neither of the above mentioned ways will work around here.


My MIL came over yesterday to pick up David for a sleepover, and she sat down with Mayah as well.  It was nice to have her see what I was seeing.  By last night-when Dan came home, Mayah still took a long time-but was able to get a few colors right a few of the times.  Still, an improvement from the afternoon.  We’ll see how she does today and if she was able to retain anything. 

Dan and I also realized the possibility that Mayah may never retain anything.  After all, in Ukraine her medical report said she had scoliosis.  She has the best psture I’ve ever seen (think ballerina style posture) and she may have some severe delays that no one cared to mention.  Time will tell.  We also need to accept she may never be verbal.  Yes, she has learned quite a bit of language since being home.  She still things she is actually speaking when her lips are moving.  She doesn’t even have to make a sound-she’ll just move her lips.  She could be just trying to be silly, she could think she is actually communicating.  Just something else we are working on as things progress.  I have noticed though, this past week-her language making quite a move in the right direction.  Go Mayah!

Alexander-is enjoying school.  Though I am noticing some behavioral issues with him.  Some could be because of being in school and different behaviors he learns on the bus with the older kids on the way home-but I’m thinking more along the lines of him wanting our attention.  Sadly he has fallen into he’s –the-good-kid-who-can-do-things-on-his-own and thus has received less attention from us.  Something I’m going to be working on today and up keeping so he knows he is just as loved as his baby brother, new sister and little brother.  Words of affirmation have always been Alexander’s Love Language.  I try to reaffirm his awesomeness as often as I can.  Please pray for his sweet heart.  I long for the days of summer and next school year when I no longer have to share him with the school system.  I think even he is starting to look forward to it as well.  Though I’m sure he’ll miss seeing his new friends regularly-he will be involved in sports and church activities for him to “socialize”  (shudder at the word!)  ha-ha

David-is improving practically daily.  He is trying new vegetables all the time.  Whether he likes them or not is another story…but the fact is he trying and not vomiting is huge!  He is learning to ask for fruits as snacks-and I’ve heard him ask on numerous occasions “is this good for me?”  He is beginning to take a proactive role in what is important for his body.  He takes his iron daily like a champ.  As long as there are other grown ups watching.  If Daddy or someone else other than me are home with him while he’s taking it, he whips out the drama. His sleeping is also improving without Melatonin!  Last night, he had a sleep over at Nana’s and she sent me a pic of him sound asleep at 8:15.  Not bad for being at a special place where bedtimes fall to the wayside.  *wink  I called the neuro’s office yesterday for his MRI results.  The nurse said they were in and she was waiting for the Dr. to read them and she would return my call.   I didn’t hear from them yesterday, I’ll give them a call if I don’t have word by lunchtime.  Next Thursday David has his EEG at Children’s then he’s done unless his EEG is normal or inconclusive.  If that is the case, he will need the 23 hour EEG.  Guess we’ll have more information on that in 2 weeks or so.

Gage-oh that child of mine!  If there’s trouble to get into, he’s already tried it.  Slowly, ever so slowly he is getting better.  I can’t believe he turns 2 in just a few weeks.  Where does the time go?  In starting to learn colors with Mayah yesterday-we learned Gage knows them.  He kept trying to tell her the answers.  I think he just longs to do what the big kids do on their own.  Yesterday he tried getting his own water from the fridge-this getting the lever pulled out but unable to push it back in getting water all over the floor.  He is constantly trying to get into the bathroom to brush his teeth.  I remember all of the other boys trying the same things-it won’t last forever.  I do love his special cuddle times though.  AND when we all sit together to make food he follows directions quite well.  I’m rather impressed he’s listening and not trying to destroy something. 

I have plenty more to update-I need to go back and add the pics.  The kids are all still sleeping so I was able to actually get some real words here!!

We love being on the receiving end of the prayers-and equally enjoy praying for so many of you.  Thank you for joining us on this journey.


**okay so I never added the pics** I will try tonight;)

David’s MRI

Hooray!  I’m updating something that happened this week!  Maybe I’m making progress?

David had his MRI at 6:30 Sunday morning.  Missing church is never top on my list, but our church was covering us in prayer while we were gone.  How comforting.  Thank you, friends.

Because of David’s age and the natural inability to lie still for an hour-Children’s Hospital sedates all children under age 8 for the procedure.

Saturday, while skyping with my In-Law’s (the kids LOVE seeing Nana and Pappy on the computer) they offered to watch the other 3 kids so Dan could come with me.  How nice!

We got David up just before 4:45 and popped him right into the car. 

He made the entire trip without complaint.  I took the DVD player and he watched part of a movie-said he was done-and napped a bit.

We were the only ones in the waiting room.  A waiting room filled with fun toys and highly interactive. 


No he did NOT lick the mirror-he was just sticking his tongue out.


He so enjoyed playing with the interactive coloring book on the right.  Just tap the color and it fills in the object—then hit PLAY and the coloring page moves along with music.  That basically entertained him until it was time to go into the boring waiting room.038  037

He even let the lady put on his hospital bracelet without protest.  David’s never done that before.


He was playing peek-a-boo in the window in the top of the stroller.  (in the boring waiting room)



043Daddy and David got some nice snuggle time in.

045when we got called back to a pre-op room, David was given this super awesome control module.  It was a wireless box that had square colored buttons.  As he pushed each button the bubble tower changed colors.


This kept him busy and happy for quite some time.

049050He was even nice when the PA came in –he used to throw fits during all of these things.  We were so proud of him.

053When he got bored with the bubble tower-they even had a treasure chest of toys in each room for him to play with.  I love this place!

054055Our tough guy stayed tough until they came to put the IV in his arm.  But even then he only cried because he watched and as soon as the needle was in, he was done crying—but pouted for a few minutes.


The picture on the left is David working really hard at not laughing at Daddy.  The picture on the right shows it didn’t last long before our guy was laughing again with with the port in his arm.

They walked us back to the MRI room, it was done up like a rocket and outer space.  David was still not convinced he was going in the rocket, so he sat on my lap in the rocking chair while they put meds into his IV.  In a minute or so we were laying him on the table of the MRI.  He was very out of it.  Then the next med was injected-this agitated him quite a bit.  He kicked the entire tray of “goodies” off the foot of the table-they expected him to do this.  (side effect) we held him down and waited for the meds to kick in.  After some time, another round was given.  This took a little longer as he fought it most of the way-he put up a good fight to stay awake!

Nearing the end of the procedure, he moved two different times.  The nurse watching said to the techs, “uh guys you need to speed it up, he’s starting to wake up!”  He did just fine and didn’t wake up until he was in recovery for an hour and we began to awaken him with promises of cookies and hot chocolate. 



I loved my snuggle time.



They let him keep his blanket they gave him and he got comfy in Gage’s stroller.  He was so loopy.  Poor little guy.


The (cute) lump under the Steeler blanket is David sleeping on the way home.

He did well and only vomited all over Nana’s car about 20 minutes from home!

I called the doc’s office this morning and his results are in.  Just waiting for the doctor to read them and for the nurse to return my call with them.  I’ll keep you posted!

Mayah’s Turn

Because David is next…again…then Mayah…again.

For Mayah I will use mostly pictures.

Okay. So it took me all day into the next day because now we are at Children’s Hospital with David in the waiting room.  Though I thought my laptop would make it for the duration—I left my charger at home.

And by the time I finished the above sentence-David is now in recovery after his long MRI.

But more on that later…this is, after all, Mayah’s update.

So….Mayah started Friday knowing that she and Mommy weren’t going to sleep at the house that night.  She continually told her brothers:  “Mayah, Mommy…”  indicating with her hands we were sleeping elsewhere.  It didn’t take long for the boys to become irritated and yelled back, “we know!!” 

She didn’t care.  She was excited.

Eventually we were able to start our journey.  Which had us at McDonald’s for a special dinner on the way to Pittsburgh. 

We arrived early to the sleep lab and she was excited.  She played with the games at the table.  While Mommy filled out some paperwork.




Then went into her room, and slowly you could see this was not what this little princess had in mind for our super awesome special girls night out.  (I assume that’s what she was thinking)


The technician was nice and gentle-he explained what was going to go on.  He left and I got Mayah dressed for bed.  We did our normal night-time routine and she was in bed.  All before 7pm.


Mayah quickly looked defeated so I snuggled with her.  Her sweet smiling face was now sad and small quiet tears were in her eyes.  My poor girl.

The tech entered the room again and we put Despicable Me in the DVD player for her to watch.  She was no longer sad-she loves that movie and was reciting it just as she does with her 3 little brothers at home.  025

She is such a trooper.


(She loves getting her picture taken, can’t you tell?)

Eventually she was completely covered in wires all over her head, up her nose, down her legs, around her belly…who says that doesn’t sound like a comfy way to go to sleep?

The tech left and said we could call if we needed anything, and when I wanted her to go to bed to call as well and he would come in and get the study started.


Once the movie was over-I told Mayah it was time for bed, she agreed.  By the time the tech came in and got everything prepped it was about 8:15ish.  She was asleep by 8:20!

She went right away.  No rocking.  No fussing.  Just right to sleep.

I was so proud of her.

She did get up a few times during the night though.  I have no idea if she does that regularly or not.  If she just wakes up-rolls over and goes back to sleep-I wouldn’t know.  She was up at 10:40, 1 something 3 something and then he woke her up right at 5am.  My girl needs to sleep until 8:30 to be acting human.  I don’t call her Sleeping Beauty for nothing.

He got her all unhooked, we got dressed, teeth brushed and we were back in the car by 5:40 am for the hour and a half journey home.

It snowed most of the way home, but nothing major.  We drove by Nana and Pappy’s house, but she didn’t recognize it.  BUT…as we were turning into our development she yells, “Daddy!”  So she IS starting to recognize things around town.  I think that’s pretty awesome.

I got to talk to my husband for maybe 30 minutes before he was out the door to work.  The kids and I got the house back into order (it’s amazing what just over 12 hours away from the house can do to the place!)  and then we were off to gymnastics. 

By the time we were home from gymnastics-new plans for Sunday were being made.  Dan’s parents offered to watch the kids so both Dan and I could take David to Pittsburgh for his MRI.  Since his appointment was at 6:30am we’d have to leave the house by 4:45.  His mom was busy and couldn’t stay here-and I naturally didn’t want to wake everyone up to head there….SO…3 of them spent the night.  Mayah has bonded quite well with me-and she adores her Nana….I think she has quite the eye for her Pappy too…so staying wasn’t the issue.  I just wanted her to understand Daddy and I would be back to pick her up and she wouldn’t stay there forever.  She didn’t care.  She was bouncing up and down yelling “yay!” with such excitement when I indicated she and 2 of her brothers were sleeping at Nana’s.  I don’t think she cared to know *if* we were coming back.  She did awesome the entire night and into the morning until Dan and I returned yesterday to pick them all up.  She is so awesome. 

Mayah doesn’t return to Pittsburgh until Thursday for her CT scan.  This will show us what the inside of her head looks like for her jaw and inner workings of her ears.  Thankfully the scan is quick-as I’m taking 2 of the other kids with me.  Alexander will be with his grandparents and they will get him to school.  I’m sure Mayah will do just fine for 10 minutes without me.  Right after-she has an appt with the ENT again so we’ll touch base before heading back home. 

We have a whole week until I need to return to Pittsburgh!!  I’m going to call the social worker at the hospital today to get Mine and David’s names on the list for the Ronald McDonald House Wednesday night for his EEG Thursday.  Hopefully that works out for us.  Then back again to Pittsburgh on Friday with Mayah. 

I’m not sure when we will head back after that.  I suppose we’ll learn more as this week progresses. 

David’s update from yesterday is coming next.  MAYBE I’ll get it done today.

Quick David Update

And then tomorrow I’ll get one up about Mayah.

As I type this, I’m in the sleep lab with Mayah.  She is watching, Despicable Me.  I’ve been taking tons of pics that I’ll have up tomorrow.

Yesterday we went to Children’s with David to see the neurologist.  He also suspects seizures with David and suggested an eeg and mri.  Thankfully I already had the eeg scheduled!!  When I called for the MRI-the earliest they could get him in was mid march.  Then I get a call today saying they have an opening on Sunday!  It’s at 6:30 am.  David and I need to leave the house at 4:30 am.  Ugh.  They sedate all kids under 8.  So David will be put under and they will monitor him and make sure he’s ready for the mri.  Once it’s over-he will be in recovery for an hour or until they say he can go home. 

He’s not to be left alone for the entire day as he will be very out of it.

Thankfully we’ll have results for David by the end of the month on everything!

The doctor said if the EEG is normal or inconclusive, David will need a 23 hour EEG.  I’m not sure how long they take to schedule those-so we’ll see a week after his EEG.

In nutrition related news:  David chugged his pediasure the other day.  We’ve had them for  a while and he couldn’t’ stand them before.  Now he was chugging it down like crazy!  I’m thinking of getting him some more-we’ll see how he does with another batch.

David has successfully eaten fruits more than 3 times every day!

David drank a glass of orange juice last Saturday!  (he stood over the trash can in case he vomited, my idea)

I no longer have to dye his medicine in the morning OR chase him down.  After 3 weeks, he is finally just taking it like a little man. 

David actually ate celery (with peanut butter, which is good because of the protein for him)!  Though today when I served it, he only ate the peanut butter off…and I was cranky and busy and didn’t feel up to the battle.  It’s not the end of the world.

David tried A green bean the other day without vomiting.  Also huge in his world.

“The skin of broccoli”  which is what he calls the stems is the only part he was willing to try the other day.  He had a taste and was also vomit-less.  Score one for David!!

Last night-I put cheddar cheese over it and while he didn’t eat it willingly, he did eat the entire piece with no gagging.  We rejoiced!!

With constant practice again he’s getting there.  I also think I remember him eating a few pieces of the chicken dinner I made last week as well.

I’m wondering if his low iron did something to his taste buds?  I made all of David’s baby food at home so it’s not like he’s never had any of these things before. 

We will continue doing what we’re doing with David.  He’s starting to try more foods without throwing up.

He is starting to fall asleep earlier on his own many nights.  Though he’s also starting to get up earlier than normal…so it’s almost back to the same thing.  I’m not sure if it’s because Gage is no longer in the crib and can get out of bed when he wakes up and David hears him or not.  Gage will get used to it eventually. 

Mayah’s movie is almost over-and it will be time to start the official sleep testing on her.  The tech just came in and said he was going to start his other patient—I hear crying so I suppose we’ll know when he’s done.  Sounds like a little one is his patient. 

I am thinking this is more of a vacation for me.  Though he tech will be in to wake Mayah at 5am-I’m still looking forward to sleeping a full night (hopefully).

I am going to relax with my kindle books and hopefully make some headway!

Friends, your prayers are the best gifts-and we’re always willing to receive.

She is Totally Blossoming…

Mayah is coming around beautifully.  I realized yesterday (or the day before) I no longer look at her like I didn’t give birth to her.  What an amazing feeling.  Each moment I see her she is more beautiful than the last. 

Today I let her push Gage in his stroller.  These two don’t get along all that well, so I’m working on helping them to like each other.  She LOVED pushing him and he loved her pushing him.  She later tried to help him into the van, rubbed his leg while he was sleeping and kissed him a few times.  It was all kinds of sweetness.  Ever so slowly they are coming around.  We’ll keep working on it.

Mayah’s BAHA appointment was cancelled for today.  Boo.  Insurance purposes.  They want to wait to see what our insurance will cover (if anything) and then let secondary insurance kick in.  She has her CT scan coming up-I hope they don’t intend on cancelling that one as well. 

David has a neuro appt Thursday morning.  I wonder what it will be like and if we’ll learn anything.  Only time will tell I suppose!!

We’re thinking about getting Alexander 2 ducks for Easter.  If you know him, you know his love for ducks…real and stuffed.  Last year we thought about it, but this year even he is starting to mention it.  So if you know anything about ducks, please pass it along.  I’d like for him to get babies and then sell them or give them away…I just don’t know what to do with them after they grow.

And for our larger news…

as many bloggers post:


Yes, Dan and I are continuing the growth of our family through adoption once again.  This time around we’re praying it’s domestic.  A social worker was at our house on Thursday for the first home visit.  We’ve ordered our first round of clearances, gathered up some documents, lined up references (almost done!) and prepping to mail the first set of paperwork back to him.  WHEW!  We’re very very excited at what God has in store for us.  Unlike last time, we didn’t call people, have dinner with people and make any formal announcement.  I mentioned it to once person in person and the reaction was not warm.  Another person via text and she was willing to help us where we needed.  The hardest part this time around will be securing any form of childcare for us to get the certification classes done.  We’d like to be done by the end of March-but we’ll have to see with the dates and hoping people will help out a few evenings throughout the month.  We’ve taken quite a few of the classes with our former agency and we’re waiting to see if any of them will carry over.  That will be a huge help.  We aren’t yet sure whether it will be a boy or girl or both!  We are hoping for special needs and between the ages of 4-9.

My heart still longs for Africa daily.  Alexander happily prayed for the people of Botswana the other day with me (in our praying daily for the nations of the world in a year)  After 7 days and getting a new dry erase board for the fridge (I’ve always wanted one!!) he is starting to look up and read about each nation on his own.  I’m so impressed.  In talking about traveling to Africa with Dan-Alexander chimes in expressing his desire.  I’d love to take him along.  I want so badly for all 4 of our children to want God’s heart and not care what the world thinks of them.  To love the Lord with a passion like no other that when people think they’re strange or radical for being so into God-that fuels their fire for the Lord even more. 

It is so difficult to die to oneself daily (even more so than that!!) The rewards with the Father are so much greater than any reward this earth has to offer. 

Dan and I are still up in the air about a few things we have in mind for our family over the next year.  Prayer will show us in which direction the Lord wants us to go.  Either way, we’re positive it will be a fun ride!

Thank you for the prayers.  I wonder where they’ll lead us?

Other Peoples’ Kids

Need help raising money to come home too.

I’m sorry to announce I didn’t get to post my friend, Lori’s fundraiser for a beautiful table runner (and I also didn’t WIN, boo!)  But they were able to raise some money to help Annie come home.

But that’s the reason for the post in the first place, it’s some money.  Not ALL.  Did you know it cost our family $30 or close to it to eat out in a restaurant?  We most certainly do not spend that daily on 3 meals a day for our family.  Not.  Even.  Close.  And thank the good Lord for that!

I just contacted to sponsor this young man so he can eat and have a place to live.  His name is Ebenezer Jr. Since I have come to “know” of this organization, I have been able to see more and more children receive sponsors.  There are plenty left that YOU can choose one to sponsor as well.  It’s ONLY $25 a MONTH. 


He’s totally worth it. 

Please consider contacting and sponsoring one of the children who are still waiting to have the word, “SPONSORED” under their precious pictures.

Now, back to LORI.  She has a beautiful etsy shop:

She just added some adorable hats, please check them out.  If you don’t want to buy something for yourself-donate the money and give the item away.  annie

Annie’s totally worth a donation of any size.

The last (and not least!)  is a drawing for an ipad.  They are adopting yet another child with special needs.  Awesome.  Please help a group of friends raise money for the plane tickets.  Another future un-orphan is waiting.  ANY dollar amount helps, but the following are the amounts to get you entered for the ipad.  If you can’t afford $10 donation, I’m totally sure they wouldn’t turn down a $1 donation either.  Go head, try it…I can guarantee they will be thankful and it will not be returned to you as insufficient funds for a donation. 

Here’s the details:  (ALL donations are tax deductible through the Ukraine Outreach/ Eli Project!)
$10= 1 entry
$25= 3 entries
$50= 8 entries
$100= 20 entries
$150= 35 entries
$300= 80 entries!!!!

Here is the link for the chip-in.  All donations are tax-deductible through the Eli Project.


Here is the link to read about Masha’s future family.

masha family


She is worth $1 or more, don’t you think?


Okay…so Masha wasn’t last….what was I thinking??

It wouldn’t be an “old time” Friday on my blog without SVETA!!


We donate to her FSP with RR every payday.  It’s not much, but we all know every dollar helps.  Her future family may be fundraising, I’m not sure…haven’t checked out their blog in a while.  You can donate to the FSP  or check out their blog here:

And tomorrow, stay tuned-if you’re not on Facebook then you don’t know…so be ready;)