Family of Five!

Family of Five!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Video from Wii Dance!

Forgot to put the link for the video earlier. Here it is:

God is Greater!

I went to sit down the other night to write a new entry and just couldn’t. I opened our blog and heard our first song “Our God is Greater”. I forgot that I had changed our songs while in the Ukraine and since I always wrote our blog on Microsoft word and then transferred it over, I never would hear the music. God knew then that I would need to hear that song on that very night I opened up our blog site. God is Greater and Stronger than all that we are going through. He is our Healer, and nothing can stand against us. We will not allow this time in our life to break us or to turn us away. It is making us stronger.

Since my last blog, a lot has changed and a lot has stayed the same. We still have the tantrums and the struggle to do school work each day but I can also say that we still have Eryna’s smile. Her smile is what keeps me going each day. She blows me away with her huge heart and desire to make you laugh. She loves her brothers and will try to help them at any moment. Of course that causes fighting because we have raised them to be independent so now having someone come in and do everything for them doesn’t work too well. In the morning, Eryna wants to get everyone a glass of water, spoons, feed the dog, help get Logan dressed, help make lunches, etc. I love her work ethic when it comes to helping, I just now need to find a way to apply this work ethic into her school work! J We have taken her to every doctor needed to make sure she is getting all the nutrition she needs and to be as healthy as possible. Her cardiology appointment went perfect, pediatrician had to update a lot of her vaccines (7 shots in one day poor thing), neurologist recommended some medication to help with behavior but we have decided to wait and try other approaches, dentist is next week (we hear that an orphan has an average of 7-9 cavities when they have their 1st appointment), and the best news is that we found an amazing counselor that speaks Russian!! Shawn was looking on the internet one night because he felt that it would be good for her to be able to speak to someone in her own language and he found a lovely lady named Yana that has a practice in Aventura (about an hour from us). We have had 3 appointments with her so far and we are so thankful that we found her. She really cares about Eryna and has been helping us a lot with communicating with Eryna. She recommended a couple of vitamins for Eryna to take to help with her ADHD and we have been able to see a slight change in behavior since. I am praying that we can help her focus through using a holistic approach first before going to medication. We also started speech therapy last week. She was approved for 3 visits a week but we have a high copay so we are only doing one visit a week right now.  I think that’s about it as for her health right now.

I would like to share some things that continue to make us smile each day from our princess. Eryna loves to dress up. Poor thing only had boy dress up clothes for a while but she loved putting on about 3 different ones at a time. Now we were able to get her some old prom dresses and those she wears about every day. Her next favorite thing is swimming. She would eat, sleep and live in the pool if we let her. We are going to have to heat that pool all winter because I don’t think we will be able to keep her out. My parents bought her a bike so she loves to be outside trying to learn how to ride it. It has been very difficult to teach her to pedal but she is coming along. She does prefer Logan’s tricycle and rides that the most. Eryna still loves her puzzles and playing with dolls. My parents watched Eryna one night so we could have some special time with the boys and they got a kick out of her playing with my sister and I’s old dolls from childhood. She had them all sitting at the table eating dinner with them, she took them to the bathroom, pushed them around in a shopping cart, and then put them all to bed. It was so nice to see her have a great bonding time with my parents. My mom did say that the whole time she kept asking for the boys and made sure she was gonna sleep at her house. Eryna loves to dance as well. We got the dance Wii game and she has a blast with that. I uploaded a video of her dancing with my nieces, you can see that below. She has such a big laugh as well. She has that laugh that will always make you laugh at the same time even if it wasn’t funny!! She also has a way to melt your heart after a tantrum. She always holds our face and says “I’m sorry Mama” or “I’m sorry Papa”. She has learned good manners too. She will always say “Thank You and Your Welcome”. We are still learning on how to say “Yes” when asked to do something but this past weekend she learned “No and Stop” very well…..not the order I wanted but at least she is learning words! Her most consistent words that she can say are: please, thank you, your welcome, home, shower, pool, may I please, store, eat, stop, no, help, Chloe (our dog), Ethan, Logan, Nonny, Papaw, Papa, Mama. That’s all I can think of right but I am sure I am missing a lot. She definitely understands a lot more than she can speak. I hope as things calm down more, I can get on and write more. I never thought I would miss doing this but I do. Especially when I hear people tell me that they miss our entries and continue to check each day. I am sorry for not keeping up with it more often but I will try harder!!
Love this picture!

Craft time with daddy.

First time baking with mommy.

Loved seeing the pumpkin patch.

Beautiful smiles!!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Our First Week Home!

So after a long adoption journey, we are home, back to reality. God delivered Eryna from poverty and abandonment back into a family, no longer alone in this big world; now wanted and loved and welcomed into our family. This should be the end right. A perfect “love” story and everything would go wonderfully. Not the story with us. Eryna gave us about 2 days of honeymooning until her terror burst onto the scene. Sometimes her fear for not being fed enough or her lack of ability to hear the word no, literally takes my breath away. When asked how things are going, I would love to smile and say “wonderful, perfect, etc” but I can’t. We have been spit on, bit, kicked, scratched, disobeyed, refused, clung to, adored, ignored, loved, and rejected. God love her. We are parenting a damaged and traumatized child. Every minute is on; there is no off. We’ve missed appointments, failed to answer emails, left voicemails unanswered, texts unread, we’ve regrouped, replanned, restructured, and reorganized.

We are exhausted beyond measure.

I know what a lot of you are thinking; you asked for this. Well your right, we did and I would do it all over again.  It doesn’t mean that we are not exhausted. I read this the other day and it is so true, “Children who have been abused, abandoned, neglected, given away, given up, and left alone are shaken so deeply, so intrinsically, they absolutely require parents who are willing to wholly invest in their healing; through the screaming, the fits, the anger, the shame, the entitlement, the bedwetting, the spitting, and the bone-chilling fear. Parents who are willing to become the safe place, the Forever these children hope for but are too terrified to believe in just yet.” I know we can do this.  We prayed for this and God walked us through it all. God heals and redeems, He restores wasted years and mends broken hearts. Eryna will not remain broken. She is loved too much by a good Savior. Shawn and I will not remain exhausted and spent. We have a merciful Savior who will get us through this. We have an extremely supportive family who has been with us from the start. We have friends that send us encouraging messages (that we don’t always get a chance to respond to) and bring us a dinner since I can’t even think enough to go grocery shopping.
God really spoke to me through my devotion today which allowed me to be able to sit down and write this honest post to you all. The verse was “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you” (Deut. 31:6)
So when you ask “How are you?” don’t be surprised if I say “Actually I haven’t looked in the mirror in two days, haven’t had a shower in 3 days, I lost my temper with my uncontrollable daughter this morning, I spent 2 hours today just trying to get her to sit down and color a sheet of paper, I had to hide all our food last night so she doesn’t ask me a million times for something to eat after she just ate her plate of food plus all the left overs,  and I am tired of washing sheets from her peeing in her bed every night. “  But since I am so afraid of scaring some of you away…I may just say “We are doing fine, thanks for asking.” Just continue to pray for us and we will be at the doctor on Monday morning getting drugs prescribed for our sanity!

These are the moments that keep us going each day!
Cousins having fun!

This is her favorite toy and she is the happiest when she is in the pool!

Yay! We made it back for Ethan's 5th Birthday!

He loved his gifts and especially that we made it back in time!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Home Sweet Home!

Practicing her letters on the plane

Love Amsterdam carts to push around!

First visit to Walmart! She was so excited about
all the small stuff we had to get her!

Her and Logan loved pushing the cart together

First visit with her cousins!

Reading books before bed. Love our new family!
We are home! Eryna and I made it through our 22 hours of traveling. The trip from Amsterdam to Atlanta was the hardest since it was the longest flight. She only slept for 20 minutes in the beginning and then fell asleep just as the plane was landing. It was difficult to keep her entertained and happy. The poor people in front of her that were woken up every time she would try to stand up and pull on their seats. Every time she would push extra hard on the buttons on the screen in front of her. She had fun kicking the seat in front of her as well and the man would turn around and ask me to have her stop. I wanted to say “If I knew Russian, I would be screaming at this point but I don’t so I am trying my best”. I apologized about 10 times to him and he still continued to ask me to control my child. For the most part, she did really well and I was able to be very patient because I knew what the end result was! Customs went very long and nobody had compassion for me that I only had 40 minutes till my next flight. Well since I didn’t get to the gate until everyone was boarded, they didn’t have seats available for us. We had to wait till the next flight but it wasn’t too much later than the original flight. We arrived in Miami at 7:30pm and had a nice crowd waiting for us. It was great to see our family and friends there. The kids had a great time playing and Eryna blended in right away. We came home and got to bed as soon as we could. I am really suffering with Jet Lag today and Shawn had it yesterday.
Logan woke up first this morning so he came in bed and I was able to snuggle with him for 30min. before Ethan woke up. I was then able to snuggle with Ethan for 30min. till Eryna woke up. It was a perfect morning. We adventured to Walmart to get some needed items for Eryna. It was actually an enjoyable trip with the whole family. We came home and went into the pool. Eryna had the time of her life in the pool. She was very nervous about leaving the steps but as soon as Shawn got in with her, she was willing to go farther. We had a wonderful time playing as a family during the day and just showing Eryna everything in the house. My dad, sister-in-law and kids came by to visit later on. Then our friend Cinda brought over dinner and some groceries. That was a life saver because I had no intentions to cook or go grocery shopping. Our nightly routine of showers, books and prayer time went a lot better tonight than last night. Eryna fell asleep all by herself tonight and I am beyond ready myself. I will hopefully write more details when I have more sleep and can think!! Enjoy the pictures!