Friday, July 29, 2011

Screech day 5, only visit :(

Our visiting with our boys is done. I'm very, very sad about that. But, I'm trying to concentrate on the fact that this means we can start moving forward with the next portion of our adoption as soon as we get home. I'm ready.
We got up, finished packing and showering, took the bags to the car, then had breakfast.  Then, off to the orphanage.
When they brought Screech down, for the first time, he really looked excited to see us, and ran RIGHT to Jim. We stopped long enough to get a couple of family pictures, our first with Screech...we realized last night that we had not taken a picture of all three of us.
Then we went off to the playground. There was a group of children already there, so we blew up the beach balls that we had brought and gave them to the kids to play with. However, once again, the big draw were the trucks. I was allowed to hold Screech for a short time while we watched the trucks, today.
After a short time, Screech seemed to want to be away from the other kids, who were understandably drawn to what we were doing with him. So, we walked up the steps, played in that general area for a while, then the thunder started.
The other kids returned to the orphanage before the rain started, but we had another 20 minutes of time with Screech, and did not want to take him in early! The rain started, and we took cover under the building overhang, keeping mostly dry. It was very nice. Then, the caretaker showed up, and ushered us in the building.
WE had to say goodbye, quickly, and without having told Screech that we have to leave, but we will be back for him. I KNOW he would have at least understood that we would not be back this afternoon, if we had been able to tell him this. I feel terrible!  Again, another first for today, when we handed him over to the caretaker, he tried to get free and come with us....he is JUST starting to show some preference for us and we have to leave him!
We got in the car, and drove away from our son's orphanage. SO HARD TO DO. Hang in there, Screech, we will be back for you ASAP!

On the way back to Sofia, we took a short detour to drop off Toni's aunt who is spending the weekend in her summer village. We were priveleged to be invited in for a snack of FRESH fruit (as is, they picked them from the tree, washed them off, and set them on the time from picking to my mouth....5 minutes max!) We have never enjoyed cherries and apricots so much. They bagged more for us for our trip, and we were on the way again.

Toni dropped us off at the hotel in Sofia, and we said our tearful goodbyes. A taxi will pick us up EARLY tomorrow morning to take us to the airport. We walked to the downtown area, found a Starbucks, stopped at a "Happy Bar and Grill" for some GREAT chicken with spinach kabobs, and returned to the room. We may go to the restaurant in the hotel for some salad or dessert, then turn in early tonight.

Be sure to check out the photo's on Jim's blog.
Next update....from home.


Thursday, July 28, 2011

2nd to last visit

I can't put it off any longer. I must post. I'm very sad about having to leave Screech. But, it is a different sad than leaving Dido. I really feel that Screech will be ok while we are gone. I want him to KNOW we will return, but he  will not be able to KNOW that, so we will tell him and trust that God will fill in the blanks for him. Dido, I'm HOPING he will be ok, and praying that God will take care of him.

Today's visit, as each successive one, was the best ever. There was a lot of digging, boy "construction" (read...destruction) going on behind the orphanage playground. PERFECT for little (and big) boys. I, apparently,  am NOT proper contstruction viewing  parentage, as Screech CLEARLY, EMPHATICALLY preferred papa to help him oversee the work being done. I was relegated to photographer. I was wearing a skirt...what can I expect......

There was lots of dirt, machinery, noise, all manner of manly things going on, and I clearly was out of that picture. But I surely enjoyed the view of my two guys supervising.

I did get to talk to the doctor about some diagnosis that appear on Screech's official referral (for the record, he DOES NOT have trisomy 18 AND trisomy 13, in addition to trisomy 21!). And we got to feed him part of his lunch, which he was not particularly fond of. Make sure you view the photos and videos here.

Afternoon visit was more of the same, with some tree pod pulling thrown in. I can't believe that tomorrow morning, our visits will be done. I hope we can make it back here soon to get these guys.

After the morning visit, we will return to Sofia, without a break to blog, so the next update will be tomorrow evening, Bulgaria time.


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Day 3 Screech Visit 1

Yesterday afternoon's visit was better than yesterday morning's visit and this morning was better yet. The only things that we see that are no better are his self inflicted wounds, that seem to be worse with each visit. With us, he is not very self abusive, but when we come back, there is evidence of increasing difficulty. Yesterday, at the end of the afternoon visit, we waited about 10 minutes for the caretaker to come down to get him. During that wait, it was lightly raining, so we had to be inside. He did not want to be inside, and wanted to get back to his room, but we had to wait. Screech was not happy, and certainly did not like being told "no". But during this little "fit", he did not hit himself. I don't think this is in response to being told no, but perhaps boredom, or frustration with communication.

Toni told us last night that they said he was clearly looking forward to our visits and was excited about the new clothes we brought him and understood when they put it on him that we were coming back. WOW. What a leap! And I'm so excited that he really wants to see us.

Today, his face looked worse from self abuse. His lips are involved, and his hand has new open sores. :(
But he was happy to see us. We took him to the playground, and he was calm with us. He wanted more lotion rubbed onto his arms and legs, and the nubby ball rolled over his skin. Then a group of children came out. We had blown up a beach ball, but Screech didn't want to play with it. The other children were very happy to see it. We wanted to see what Screech did with all of these children. He wanted to stay with us, burying closely into Jim and holding Jim's arm closer around himself, all the while watching the children play. THe children came over from time to time, to be shooed away by the caretaker.
Then another group of children joined the group, and that caretaker was obviously one that Screech knows and likes. He wanted to go with her. We still had 30 minutes of visit left, and we are unwilling to give that up, but I am very happy that he has someone who likes him and who he likes to be here with him until we can get back to get him.
The groups soon returned to the orphanage, giving us a little more quiet time before returning Screech to the orphanage. I'm very sad, again, at the thought of leaving him.

Not sure if Jim will update photos now or wait until after our 2nd visit.


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Screech day2, visit 1

Our visit with Screech went very well this morning. We spoke briefly with the social worker, then he was brought out and we were allowed to be with him outside. We took him back to the dismal playground of yesterday, but then noticed that just beyond that was another, slightly less dismal playground. There is where we spent our time.
A slide provided some entertainment, mostly going up and down the steps. A small gazebo with very low benches gives more places to climb over and back, and then Jim decided to try some music on his phone.
That was a hit. We saw more of his personality coming out and he truly starts to "sing". I caught some adorable facial expressions on video!  Be sure to check them out here.
Too soon it was time to return him to the staff. This afternoon, we plan on taking the Ipad and hopefully music and video on there will be a hit with Screech.


Monday, July 25, 2011


I can now say this in I can actually pronounce it. It has taken me months of calling it "Blago", with all of the US connotations associated with it. But, I can now pronounce Blagoevgrad!
Blagoevgrad is a small, college town in the mountains. I love it here. I'm not a sandy-beachy type of person, but I do love being in the mountains. We arrived yesterday, had a wonderful dinner with new friends Jim made of 2 professors at the American University here, along with Toni, Martin (Toni's brother, and our incredibly adept driver) and Slavka, Toni's aunt. Marcus and Savina, our new Professor friends, have offered to find a student or two at the university who would be willing to donate their time to start teaching "Matt" some English. More than that, we want him to be loved, hugged, cuddled and played with.

Our first visit was this morning. The orphanage is up further in the mountains, on roads that are clearly waiting to be repaved. WE first met with the social worker and then the doctor came to tell us about Screech. He comes from a good pedigree, they said, where his parents are teachers and a grandmother is a nurse. He is a good boy, and we will be happy with him. He has a scratch on his face, that we should not worry about. He did it to himself, but he is not "auto aggressive" . He loves music and is "singing" some.  He LOVES to go outside, and likes to be held.......

Then they brought him in. He is walking well independently, but does like to take your hand. He let both of use hold him. They took us to a small room in the basement where we will have our meetings, and the social worker will observe and make notes. IT is a small room. We played a little ball, picked him up and set him down, got out what toys we had brought and went through most of what they had there. IN the end, he was very intent on working on gross motor skills, and enjoyed a game of stepping up on a small chair, over the back of the chair onto the bed, and then reversing course. When this gets old, he does it backwards! He is a determined young man,, a man on a mission, and his mission right now is improving climbing ability.

He is a great addition to our family, and I can't wait to get him home with Dido! (Who may become "Scooter" for obvious reasons).

Be sure to check out the photos and videos here.

Off to our 2nd visit for the day.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Friday's Visit

I just can't put this off any more.
It was an incredibly hard visit. As usual, Dido wanted to be with Jim more for the morning visit, but I did get some great snuggles in, too. The director met with us before they brought him down, assured us that they will continue to take good care of him, and feed him the supplemental food that we have provided. We bought enough for 101 days, so we have a tangible goal to shoot for to get back here BEFORE he runs out of it. I don't know if it is possible, but we are sure going to be putting all effort into making it happen!
Toni left after our meeting with the director to head back to Sofia, but we stayed for our entire visit plus with him. They brought us his lunch so we go to feed him again before we left. He was very tired by the end of lunch, and we simply could not delay any further. (The social worker popped her head in the door asking if everything was ok, if we were ready to take him back to his room.  NO, we are not ready, but we knew we needed to...sometimes I HATE being a grown up.)
We took a taxi to the train station then walked to the beach. Jim wanted to get in the Black Sea one more time. I'm not a sand lover, so we needed to find someplace that I could sit enjoying a Coke-Lite while he swam. That place turned out to be 2-3 km down the road. We took a taxi back to the train station, and that driver turned out to be a gem...a former professional fisherman, had never "seen a real, live American!" and had some great suggestions for visiting while in Bulgaria. He refused most of the tip that Jim tried to give him!

We wandered the train station in search of edible food to bring with us on the train, then tried to board. We were turned away, although there were other people, a group of young people, boarding our car. We were concerned that we would have no place to put our luggage, but the person (someone who worked for the train..I"m not sure of her title) INSISTED that we wait. Finally, she showed us to another car, not our assigned car or seats. We followed her. It seems that she put the entire large group of young people in one car, and put us in another car, presumably a much quieter car. Thank you, "train lady".

The train ride was fine...the window in our compartment kept floating up, but if we held it down, we got plenty of fresh air. I like train travel. The rocking sends me to sleep, and the seats are MUCH more comfortable than airline travel.

Toni had arranged for an English speaking driver to meet us at the train station and take us to the hotel. He works for the hotel, and when he is not a driver (Most of the time, I assume), he is the hotel's IT manager. He was called in when we could not use the internet on our floor!

Quiet evening of dinner at the hotel restaurant, which was delish, skyping with the kids, and bedtime.

This morning, we were up for a hotel breakfast then met the driver to go to the cemetery where Jordan/Jacob/Henry is buried.  I'm still processing that. His grave has been visited recently.

We did some tourist stuff in Shumen, and now will get an early bedtime for a 9 am train to Sofia, then 3 hour drive to Blagoevgrad.

Check with Jim's blog for photos/videos.


Thursday, July 21, 2011

Part 2 Day 4 Derrick's visit

Our afternoon visit went about like the others. We picked Derrick up from his room. He was still in his crib from his nap, but he was awake. They changed him into the cute Cincinnati Reds outfit we brought for him. I brought other outfits, but they are too small, so we will just donate them. I'm glad they are too small.
We visited in the large play room, and we did manage to get one short video of him scooting. We may have a "Scooter" and a "Screech" on our hands!
Most of the time, he was very content to sit with us, allowing me to rub his feet and legs, and play with his green, nubby ball that lights up. We put him in the ball pit for a bit, but he was not much into it. All too soon, again, our visiting time was up, and we returned him to his room. I have been crying all day today in anticipation of tomorrow.

Back to the beach for dinner, for our last night. Besides visiting our new son, that has been the best part of the trip so far. Such a great way to end each and every day.

A small hiccup in checking out of the hotel in preparation for leaving tomorrow. They have it down that we used a bottle of mineral water from the "mini bar" (fridge in the room). We NEVER use the food in the room, we ALWAYS go get our own. We refused to pay for it. They didn't like that at all. Too bad. Lesson learned. From now on, when checking in to a hotel with a minibar, we will ask them to please remove all items from the minibar before we enter the room, and note that we will not be requiring anything be restocked. We don't use these things.

Tomorrow, I'm not sure when we will be able to post. We will leave the hotel a little earlier than usual to give us time to pick up the extra food we are supplying for Derrrick before heading to the orphanage for our last visit. We will have our morning visit, then have a couple of hours to kill before the train leaves for Shumen. But, we will have already checked out of the hotel, so we will be wandering until we get to the train station. We have told Toni to leave for the trip back to Sofia as soon as we are at the orphanage, not to wait for us. No need for them to be delayed any more than necessary on that 6+ hour drive.

As always, check Jim's blog for photos.


Day 4 Derrick visits

I have to spread this out. I cannot bear the thought that we have only 2 more visits with Derrick before we must leave him for months.
This morning his personal physician came in to talk to us and give us detailed explanations of his medical history. It is pretty much the same as the written report we received, but he did say that he has a murmur that they consider "functional", and not in need of treatment. They did not do a chromosomal analysis on him, but diagnose Down syndrome based on physical signs. I'm sure he has Down syndrome. When we asked about his large belly, we were told it was due to Down syndrome. He was a very nice man, warm, welcoming and very positive about Derrick doing well in a family. I promised to send photos/videos of him feeding himself and walking.

We went outside where the wind kept us cool. He likes to just "be", to sit with us, chewing on the little ball we bring, allowing us to touch and massage his hands and arms, cuddling in from time to time, etc... He is just content. I LOVE IT. It is going to be so hard to say good-bye.

We took him back in and the staff had put his lunch in the room for us to feed him. We didn't even ask. I'm honored that they will allow us this time together to really start bonding with him. Did I mention how hard it is to think about leaving him?

Back to the hotel for Jim to work, then off to find lunch and a place to buy his additional snacks for while we are gone.  We will leave in a few minutes for our 2nd visit of the day.

Until later...


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Day 3 Derrick Visit

Today was our 3rd visit. Only 1 ½ days left of being with Derrik before we have to leave. I’m so sad about that already.
We got to the orphanage and took him outside first thing. We arrive around 10am, and if we don’t go out right then, it is too hot soon. There are lots of kids here, and a number of playgrounds from which to choose. We are permitted to be on any of them, along with whatever groups of children are already there. It Is very nice.
We mostly sat in the shade, playing with the spikey ball, watching other children play, and feeding Derrick his formula pudding/yoghurt. (I’m not really sure what it is, but I can definitely smell the fruit) He needed a change so we headed inside. Derrick was freshened and the director offered to take us on a tour of the orphanage.

This is the 5th orphanage that we have seen, (3 in Ukraine, and 1 in Serbia). This place is by far, the best orphanage I have seen. It is fairly large, and one entire floor is for special needs children. The rooms are bright, colorful, decorated, plenty of toys both for decoration and in use, and they are well furnished. The children are clean, well fed, and seem happy. Every door was opened and we were invited to come in and see the children. We were walking through at lunch time. One room had 3 children with physical disabilities. They were each seated in a special seat (that fit THAT child), and each was being fed by a separate caretaker, who was looking at the child and talking to the child while feeding them. There is air conditioning, so the rooms are not overly warm. There are nurses and doctors in the orphanage at all times. I was very much impressed.
We toured a speech room, a music room, and art room, and a sensory room that was phenomenal.  They have a toy library, well stocked, with explanations in English and Bulgarian for what purposes the toys can serve, and suggestions for extended use/therapeutic use of the toys. Then they have the large playroom that we have been visiting in the afternoon in. We toured all of the floors, and universally, the children were clean, well fed, and seemed happy. The director was proud of the fact that the children there do not want for hugs and kisses, but readily admits that it is not a family and a family is the best place.  
We fed Derrick his lunch, but it was late by the time our tour was completed, and he was very tired, plus the fact that we gave him that snack, he didn’t eat it all. I think one of those a day will suffice. The director has agreed to make sure he gets that as a supplement if we supply it.  We returned him to his room, and he was just about asleep by the time we got up there.
We were dropped off at a McD’s for lunch, where Jim tried the McShrimp. We then walked to the local mall, a 20 minute walk. Found a Starbucks there, so Jim was happy. We walked in the air conditioning and looked at lots of stuff, so I was happy. Then got a cab back to the hotel in time to jump in the indoor pool before heading back to the orphanage.
The afternoon visit was WAY too fast.  Back in the large playroom, Derrick is just so calm. He preferred to be with papa this morning, but this afternoon he showed a definite preference for me. I sat and massaged his feet and legs, arms, and occasionally his belly. He is very good at letting you know what he likes and does not. We had told the director that he felt warm in the afternoon for 2 days, and has a rattley cough. The doctor came in to examine him while we were there, and pronounced his lungs clear. Then she looked at his throat, a procedure that he definitely did not like! He cried real tears. My mama heart just melted.  He calmed quickly, and we had to return him at 5:30. Jim has pictures…..
Dinner back at the same place on the beach. When something is good, you don’t change it.  We have 3 more visits with Derrick. We are trying to get things lined up to complete the 2nd part of the procedure as fast as possible to get him home.
I got a question about swallowing….I have not heard or felt him swallow his food much at all. He does not seem to hold it in his mouth, and he definitely WANTS to eat. Some comes out with each bite that goes in, and it gets pretty watery, pretty fast. It seems that the food just “slides” down his throat without him swallowing. He does have a pretty large tongue, with a fairly significant tongue thrust, but I have never dealt with a kid who I didn’t hear swallow his food.
He really was cuddling in to both Jim and me today, More eye contact.  He closes one eye from time to time, in a classic “Popeye” look, we believe to focus on something.  All we know for sure is that we are head over heals in love with this little boy and we need to get him home as soon as possible.
Until tomorrow….


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Day 2 Derrick Visits

Up bright and early (ok, not so bright and early, but met Toni and company for breakfast at 9:15am) and off for day 2 of visiting Derrick. We took him outside and walked around for a bit, then it started getting hot, so we came in and I got to feed him lunch. It is such a pleasure working with this group of people, from our wonderful facilitator/translator, to this caring orphanage. They really want to make sure we get to see and do as much as we can with him.
We did give him some chocolate pudding while outside (they said we could bring snack for him). He tends to bite the spoon rather than use his lips to remove the food from the spoon. But, our fantastic OT has taught me well, and a couple of bites later, with some firm pressure on his tongue and waiting for lips to close, he was doing better. We gave him about 1/3 of the pudding cup, not wanting to give him too much, since it is chocolate, pudding (sweets), and in the heat. He would have eaten the entire cup, I am sure.
Lunch went well. They showed me how they feed him, and I fed him his entire lunch. He didn’t drink his slightly thickened broth, and I think he has trouble with liquids. The thicker “stew” went very well. I don’t see him swallowing, though, and that concerns me. Any OT’s or ST’s out there with any suggestions?
Derrick’s nap time….sounded good. We came back to the hotel, Jim attempted to do some work, but his radio equipment is not working right. I walked to the shopping area to pick up lunch fixins’.  We ate, he gave up on his work, and we decided to nap as well. Quite refreshing.
The afternoon visit was back in the large play room.  While looking for lunch items for us, I found some babyfood something that looked like a cross between pudding and youghurt, fruit flavored. I got some to take as snacks for him. When I got back to the room and really looked, each 100gm container has 430 calories! Talk about packing a punch.  I took one with us, and he gobbled it up. Toni says it is made with formula.  Our plan is to ask if we provide it, will they supplement his diet with one per day. Adding 430 calories per day to his intake should help get some weight on him!
Each visit he gets more and more comfortable with us. He loves the playroom. He can be down on the floor, and come to us or turn away as needed.  He scooted over to me a couple of times and put his arms out to be picked up. He cuddled in a couple of times while I was carrying him, and touched me very gently, purposely, a few times. With Jim, he was giving great eye contact, and requesting foot and head rubs.
Again, go to Jim’s blog ( for photos.
After our visit, we went to the train station to buy our tickets to Shumen, to visit Jacob/Henry’s grave. Toni cannot accompany us there, which is fine.  After our Friday morning visit, she will head back to Sofia, and we will go to Shumen, then train on to Sofia to meet her and go onto “Matt’s” city.
Dinner on the beach, again. Boy, this will be hard to leave! We eat in the same restaurant every night, because the food is great, the company is great, and the view is GREAT.  I’m not a “beach person”, but I LOVE having dinner on the beach.
Until tomorrow……

Monday, July 18, 2011

Day 1 of visits

Our day stared out great...getting our bags back relatively painlessly.
Then off to the orphanage. It is very close to our hotel, so the ride was very fast.
The place looked much like other orphanages, a large yard outside with ample, if outdated, play equipment. Outside we saw a few children, all seemed friendly, well fed, clean, and happy. The ratio of children to caregiver seemed to be about 2:1.

We went straight to the director's office, exchanged introductions, they asked for our passports to register us. The director was very warm and welcoming, a younger, very professional woman. We barely started to talk, when he was brought right into us. It really surprised us, me especially. Jim held his hands out and Derrik went immediately to him, but eye contact was non existent. They played the "clapping game", and over the next little bit, he really started looking at us.

They had us in a very nicely equipped, but smallish room, and Toni (our facilitator/translator) and the director sat in with us. We were oblivious. We didn't even try much with the toys they had in there, but he loved to play a clapping game, and with a little nubby, light up ball that I brought. He did not put that ball down.

As time went on (about an hour and a half visit total), he gave more and more eye contact. He can stand some, and walk with two handed support, but we held him the entire time. They asked if we wanted to take him outside. We figured that we should do that now, as this afternoon will probably be too hot. We had our choice of 3 stroller. The director helped us choose one, and out the door we went. He sat happily in the stroller, with his nubby ball, for our walk around the grounds. We did find some shade and played with him in the stroller, then all too soon, it was time to return him.

We asked a few questions, and obtained permission to bring food to him, and to feed him lunch tomorrow. We will be visiting twice a day from about 10ish to 11:30 ish---tomorrow a little longer so we can feed him---then about 4 to 5:30 ish. by 11:30, he was getting tired, but not fussy.

We went to the beach for the time between the visits, and besides the fact that I don't like sand, we had a great time.

Our afternoon visit was spent entirely in a special "sensory" room. There were mats on the floor, foam bolsters, mirrors on the wall, and a large ball pit/climber/slide.  Plus, it was air conditioned!

For an hour and a half, we played quietly in this room. The time FLEW by. We have adopted before, and usually the visit times CRAWL by. It is great visiting with our new children, but finding things to entertain them, finding things to DO always proved to be a challenge. Most visits we left very tired. NOT with Derrik. He is very mellow, content to sit on our lap, play with the nubby ball, and communicate with us as to what he likes and does not. He loved his feet rubbed and tickled. He likes his hands to be played with. He loved his legs gently rubbed, then his arms. He was calm, he gave great eye contact, and we even had some smiles and giggles. I can't wait to see more of them!

Derrik is very small for his age. He is 5 1/2 years old. He weighs just under 20 lbs. His arms and legs are VERY skinny, VERY, VERY skinny. His belly is large. I'm concerned. We asked the director if he does not like to eat, or if there is not enough money to feed him. She said he was vomiting a lot, but lately, he has not been, and has started gaining some weight.  I do know that I saw MANY other children, and NONE looked exceptionally small or skinny. Just Derrik. He really needs to be seen by US doctors, gastroenterology in particular.  He had a runny nose, and it sounds like his adenoids need to be removed. By the end of our afternoon visit, he was feeling kind of warm, and Toni asked the staff to please take his temperature. I really hope he is not getting sick.

I know you all want to see photos. We have taken a ton of pictures and a few videos. The cord that we thought would work for both Jim's cell phone and our camera only works for the cell phone. So, everything in the camera will stay in the camera for now. I'm lobbying for stopping at an electronics store and looking for another cord.  We also need another electrical adapter.

Jim did upload photos and a video, and they are posted on his blog.  Hopefully in the next couple of days we will be able to put some on this blog. Until will have to look at Jim's blog.

After our visit, we went back to the beach for another fantastic dinner with our facilitation team. We are so blessed to be associated with them. They are truly wonderful.

I am very much looking forward to tomorrow's visits. And to getting this little guy home with us.

Thanks for following along. Enjoy the photos. Until tomorrow....


Today's (one of) the day(s)

I am so excited that today, in just an hour, we will be holding "Derrick".
And, we got our luggage back! A red letter day for sure.

Last night, we had a lovely dinner, on the beach of the Black Sea, with wonderful new friends. After returning to our hotel, we took a walk in search of Diet Coke (Coke Light).  Everything seems very convenient to our hotel.

This morning, we were up bright and early for breakfast and a run to the airport to pick up our luggage. I am sorely disappointed in our airline that they would not deliver it to our hotel, but we will deal with that later. Right now, we have showered, have just a couple of minutes for this update, and we are on our way to the orphanage to meet our son.

After our morning visit, we will return briefly to change, and then hit the beach. I hope we will have time to upload a few photos and post again before heading out. If not, much more to follow this evening!

I'm SO excited to meet him. This NEVER gets old!


Sunday, July 17, 2011


We made it to EE. Our bags did not. UGH.
Note to future travelers: Pack an extra pair of undies, deodarant, toothbrush, and perhaps a clean shirt in your carry on. We are experienced travelers. We KNOW this. We decided against it. We are sorry.

Flights were pretty good. As good as international travel in sardine class can be. I spent most of the overseas flight standing in the back chatting with other passengers. I just cannot sleep on the plane.
I continue with my fairly intense dislike of Paris and the airport there. A friend of mine, when I was lamenting on WHY DO WE CONTINUE THROUGH CDG when I really dislike Paris, commented: The only reason I love traveling through Paris is to get some yummy, fresh, croissants. Well, they were out! YES, out of croissants in the Paris airport. Well, ok, probably not in the ENTIRE airport, but I think going to and from EE, you are routed through terminal B, where there is ONE place to get something to eat, and THEY were out of fresh croissants. This was the same terminal that we were stuck in on our return trip with Joey...not a fun time to be had for all, I can assure you. I did make it VERY clear to Jim that when we come back for our two boys, I DO NOT WANT TO BE ROUTED THROUGH PARIS! (Our bags made it to Paris, we confirmed that. They didn't make it out of Paris.....)

We met our facilitator and driver, and Toni is just as warm and wonderful as everyone brags. We feel we are in very capable hands. They dropped us off at our hotel, and we were on our own...which is exactly what we wanted. We walked to the city center, wandered there a bit, then walked back and had a great dinner in the hotel. We crashed right after that, and slept very soundly all night.

This morning, we are to be met at 10:30 for our ROAD TRIP! We start this adoption on the Black Sea.
More from the beach.....


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

2 more days.....

Not really, but I keep telling myself I have 2 more days to get all of this "stuff" done. Why do we always leave so much to the end? I really thought I was much better prepared this time......

Jacob had a sleep study last night and a scope of his airway this morning. The sleep study went pretty well, I think. They are not allowed to give me any "results", but I did find out they did not need to put any oxygen on, so that's a good sign. The scope went well, and although he still has severe tracheomalacia and laryngomalcia, there was some improvement where his lungs begin, so we are very happy. Progress, finally. The ENT will review the sleep study in conjunction with her findings of the scope and make follow up recommendations. Check that off my list of things to do.  I think I have managed to have refills for all prescriptions here and ready to go so no one will run out of their meds. Check.  Doctors have been notified that we will be out of town and older sibs will be in charge if anything needs to be done. Check.

We still have to pack, of course (that's what Friday morning is for...we leave the house about 9:30 am....plenty of time to get everything in suitcases!), but I do have piles of stuff to take here, there and everywhere.

I am trying to wrap up work stuff. Despite my best efforts, everything was not completed last week, and some things MUST be done before I leave.

We meet tomorrow to finalize schedules for child care for the kiddos here. And to notarize the permission for treatment.

Jim is taking much of his work with him...kinda cool to be able to travel half way around the world with a broadcast studio in your carry-on luggage.  He will still be on the air from Eastern Europe.  I will also take work with me, but writing MAR's is not NEARLY as exciting as broadcasting.

I'm so excited about meeting our two new sons. I'll try to post again before we go.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

The Countdown Begins

One week from tomorrow, we leave for eastern Europe. And one week from this coming Monday, we will meet  one of our boys.
We have half completed checklists all over the house. And today is the first day that I have actually felt like we were running out of time to get things done. Of course, it doesn't help that yesterday I took on another client in my Delegated Nursing business!

I have been pretty busy working through medical issues with Jacob, Joey and Matt. Jake has had a GI scope in the past 2 weeks, and next week, he will have a sleep study and ENT will scope him. He continues to have stomach pain, and some behavioral concerns to match, but we are finding good support, finally, in getting to the bottom of these things. Joey has begun a series of treatments for an endocrine issue, and Matt continues with severe obstructive sleep apnea, and finding appropriate treatments for that.  Jim has been doing the orthodontist runs with James.

I've done most of the shopping I had to do for our trip, and I have started making packing piles. I have a couple of other things to pick up. We are still arranging child care. The camps did not come through for us, so we have to make sure everyone here is taken care of.

So T-7 days......