Friday, December 7, 2012

... or not ...

Today we learned that an Italian family is OverThere and in the process  of adopting the brothers.  We knew from the beginning that this is a possibility.  We are not hurt by this. Do not be sorry for us or for them. 

Instead PRAISE GOD, that now that they have a family - and we can begin looking anew.  We got into this because we felt led to adopt and while they were on my heart, obviously my purpose in their lives was to pray for them to find a family. He has called some to sow, some to reap, and some to harvest. 

Saturday, December 1, 2012

And in other news....

{Post has been edited to eliminate pictures}

In other news.... we're at it again.

We know it is crazy - but we are starting the adoption process again.

Quit yelling at your computer screen.

Right now, we are targeting this group of brothers (ages 6, 5, 4, 2) from Eastern Europe.  All four of them are in an orphanage.  We have just started doing paperwork this week.  The one in the blue shirt has developmental delays and a skin condition   We don't know much additional information about them.

We can do simple arithmetic.  We know that 2+4 = 6 (something many friends and family members have pointed out).  We also hold the view that children need parents; we can not hold such a position and not be willing to stand in the gap.

Here is what started this latest round:

More pictures of the girls

These were taken around Thanksgiving....

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Juliana's 2nd Birthday

Juliana had her second birthday party last week.

Not bad for "maybe she die in four weeks, maybe six..." as we were told.

Monday, June 18, 2012

A year ago we were home from Juliana's heart surgery and preparing for Elena's cleft palate repair surgery.  Juliana was hooked up to oxygen machines and machines that beeped whenever her oxygen was low.

Juliana is walking now.   She copies her big sister constantly (both good and bad).  Elena loves bossing Juliana around.  For example, Juliana tried to touch the hot stove door.  Elena pushed her down and proceeded to lecture her (finger waggling, babble, and sign language), telling her NO!, that she needs to stop, the stove is hot, it will hurt the baby.  Elena likes enforcing rules a lot more than she likes following them herself.  While she loves being Juliana's conscience, if Elena would follow 1/10 the advice she gives to her sister she would get in a lot less trouble.

Elena loves singing karaoke.  The hairbrush she is holding in the picture below is meant to be a microphone (thus helping to protect the real microphones).  She likes the TV shows "the Voice" and "America Idol" because there are lots of people singing.

Juliana loves to be snuggled and watch the world go by.  She is very tricky and clever.  She plans her strategies two or three steps in advance.

The other night we were feeding the girls at the table.  Juliana was on the left, Elena on her right.  Juliana set her cup down on her left, so that Elena would not get it.  Elena (not thinking), sat her cup down within Juliana's reach.  Juliana grabbed Elena's cup, drank it as fast as possible (in case we gave Elena better water) and then carefully set Elena's cup down on her left side, well out of range of Elena.  Juliana now has two cups, Elena has none.  Elena cried "Momma!  Momma!" and pointed at her stolen cup.  Although we returned the cup, the same scene repeated itself throughout the night.

Both girls are grade-A unpacking experts.  This is great, except that we are in the process of moving houses. We pack things into boxes.  They immediately unpack the boxes and fling the contents onto the floor.  In terms of energy and deviousness, we are outnumbered.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Elena Turns 3

We recently celebrated Elena's 3rd birthday.  She actually had two parties, one with family and one with friends and family.

Elena on a slide

Julianna going in for a kiss

We get this look from Elena a lot.  In this case, Daddy told her not to throw rocks.

Elena had a rainbow-themed birthday party.

And CAKE!!!!   She understands cake and ice cream very, very well.

So does Julianna.

Elena got (among other presents) a doll and a stroller, which she likes a lot.


A year ago, we were there.  We have had them less than a year.  Last end-of-March was a blur as we had frantically packed and gotten on the plane (March 28th) (we had our appointment date a lot earlier than we had expected).  Has it only been a year?  Our lives have certainly changed a lot.  We have certainly enjoyed our first year with our daughters (heart surgeries, cleft palate surgeries, tubes, late nights, dirty diapers, and so forth notwithstanding.  The girls grow bigger and more alive and more beautiful with each passing day.  No longer are they undernourished.  No longer are they starved for attention.  No longer are they unwanted.

When she turned three, Elena got to go to big-girl-school.  She is in a per-kindergarten classroom at a nearby school.  She enjoys going to school and is making strides towards toilet-training.  She knows over 70 signs and is very communicative (either through signing or through her nearly constant babbling).

Juliana is starting to take her first steps.  She will take a couple steps and fall over (usually because she starts excitedly clapping her hands when she stands up, and this destabilizes her).  She is starting to pick up some signs, but she has the attitude of "signing is peasant work, my staff should attend my whims better".  She understands when we talk to her.  She has a verbal vocabulary, but often does not repeat herself.  She will say a word, then realize that she spoke and not do it again (and certainly not when asked).  We do catch her saying "Da-da" for daddy, "nanana" for banana and "up" on a semi-regular basis.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Goodbye to the Gumming Wonder

Juliana, at 17 months, has not had any teeth.  This has not slowed her down much in the eating department, as she can out-eat Elena when she wants to.  We have been calling her the Gumming Wonder because she eats a huge amount of solid food with just her gums. She reminds me of a turtle or a parrot - they don't have teeth either.  She can eat anything short of tough meats.  She especially likes it when Mommy or Daddy stick fingers in her mouth (removing foreign objects, feeling for teeth, etc.) as she then bites down on a knuckle joint with a truly staggering amount of force.

Tonight we caught her gnawing on a piece of gravel she picked up from outside.  In the process of removing the gravel, I felt little teeth.  Closer examination revealed that Juliana has two teeth growing - one on each side of her mouth.  However - they are molars.  Juliana is very tricky and has decided to forego her front teeth and grow the molars first.

Monday, February 13, 2012


The girls had a Valentine's dance at school the other night.

The pictures (please excuse the graininess) are very typical of the girls' personalities.

Over the weekend, Kelly was helping Elena write Valentine's day cards.  Kelly would hold up two cards and ask "Which one do you want to give to so-and-so?"  Elena would point to the card she wanted to go to her classmate.  Sometimes Elena would pick the one on the left, sometimes the card on the right.

Finally, Kelly named a girl in class that Elena doesn't like.  Elena refused to point to either card, very clearly indicating that she did not want to give this little girl a Valentine card.  Kelly went on with other names and Elena resumed picking cards.  Kelly periodically returned to this one girl - and each time Elena refused to pick a card.  We finally gave Elena a choice for the girl of a scrap of cardboard or a card, and Elena **reluctantly** picked the card.

It is a scary thing to see a child's personality develop - it becomes more clear that this is a small person.