Category Archives: Adoption

First Day of Home School and a Boden Update


group 2

Well we survived the first day of home school!  Everyone was in a good mood for the most part.  Now Andi is finishing up her English assignment while the little ones nap.

It went well today, but we have a few wrinkles to iron out.  I am still not sure what Andi should be doing while the little ones are doing things with me, and vice versa.  But everyone loved the work, which included, worksheets, morning meeting, memory verse, catechism, Bible study, English, spelling, math–with towers, numbered jumping jacks, numbered spins in the spinny chair, and numbered laps around the house!, reading, coloring and more.  It was good. I think they think I overhyped it a smidge.  Andi is currently alternating being super excited about home school, and super bummed about missing friends at public school. So all you local home school readers…..Wanna have play dates sometime?Andi 3Lilly KSawyer K

I have had a few people ask what we are doing for Boden’s education.  The truth is, we didn’t know what to for a long time.  Today he did some activities on his level–putting blocks into his giraffe toy, playing with his turtle mirror, and he listened to our Bible story.  I was going to start teaching him his colors today with bandanas, but apparently those have scattered to the four winds, never to be seen again.  I will have to buy some more soon.  They have them at Hobby Lobby for about .89 each.  My thought is that I should be able to ask him to find a color, and he will be able to pick the color out of the laid out bandanas.  As far as education goes….He will be going to school. GASP! It sounds harsh to send him and keep the others at home, but I am trying to approach the kids’ education on a child-by-child basis.  Boden was an orphan for 12 1/2 years.  I am so scared to send him to school.  However, our school district has a wonderful special needs/life skills educational co-op with the next town, and I think this solution will work for us.  We should be able to get him in school for only half a day each day. That way he is home the majority of the time to still work on attachment (which is going great!), learn how to be in a family, and learn things that pertain to our family life.  I can’t have him gone eight hours a day.  It wouldn’t work for teaching him and attaching with him, and he just doesn’t have the stamina to put up with a 40 hour week. At least 8 of the 12 years he wasn’t with us was spent with absolutely no stimulation or education or playing or toys or walking at all….that does something to a person.  He is very fast and easily overwhelmed.  Also, he will be receiving PT, OT, and Speech therapy while is at school.  I am so relieved!  We were doing therapy multiple times a week, but the closest place to us was an hour away.  It ran our lives for us. SO this program seems like a great solution.  We are waiting for evaluations =)

BodenBoden2OK this is a combo-post.  So the other thing I wanted to mention was Boden.  He has been home for 9 months and 5 days.  He is growing a lot (Has went up 1.5 shoe sizes, has gained 16 pounds, and grown 3 or 4 inches), he is doing great, and is making tons of progress.  In the mornings, he opens the pantry, brings me the PB for his oatmeal, brings me a banana, throws the peel away, opens and closes the microwave, pushes the start button, opens and closes the microwave when it’s ready, gets me a spoon, and puts the PB up and closes the pantry door and turns the light off. AMAZING! We put him on the potty several times a day, and when he uses it, he likes to flush and close the lid ( that’s better than my bio kids!).  He also hates to chew, but will.  He knows what we are saying for the most part, and follows directions (or chooses not to, thank you very much!).  Boden walks all over the place now.  He paces and practices a lot.  When we first got him home, he had newborn soft and wrinkly feet. Now they have calluses–proof of all that hard work!  He walks with his left leg locked because that knee is out of place, and the orthopedic dr. doesn’t think we can fix it because his patella is misshapen.  Eyes and ears appoinments are coming up.  We have already done a lot of medical work, that I won’t delve into.  After 8 months, he finally decided that he could do patty cake on his own, and he can do signs for “more”, “eat”, “please”, and sometimes “mama”.  He does the motions on his own, but he likes for me to hold his wrists while we do them.  Boden fits into our family so well, it’s like he has always been here.  He loves having a family.  He loves having an Andi as much as he likes having a mama and daddy.  He is starting to follow Lilly and Sawyer around, and he is interested in what they’re doing, but after never playing for 12 years, he still doesn’t know how.  His favorite things are music, vibrations, chocolate, piggy back rides, and currently, Andi’s Skip-it

I guess that’s it. 

5 Months Home


We have spent the past 5 months (and two days!) with our precious new addition.  Boden “Heath” is doing so well, and is making progress at every turn.  Just since November he has gained 10 pounds, is figuring out drinking from a straw, he is feeding himself (very messily :)), He is taking lots of steps on his own, and is able to focus on things and people so much more than when he got here.  He loves music, bouncing, chocolate, kisses and hugs, being outside, and having a brother and sisters.  I absolutely love getting to know our new son, and discovering his personality as it slowly unfolds.  My firstborn has hit the ground running with her older little brother.  She is amazing, and her heart and compassion never fails to…well, amaze me.  She made the comment a few weeks ago that she could help people like Boden as a job when she is older.  Man, I love that girl.  The youngest two are doing great, too.  They are so close to starting to read, and they soak everything in around them.  I love my kids.  I love watching them, listening to them….seeing their eyelashes, or ringlets….everything about my kids has me absolutely in love.  Everyday I am so thankful to God for his good gifts to me.  I don’t deserve any of it.  None.

We were  hesitant when we started this process.  We didn’t know what the implications would be for our family.  I will say that there have been some tough times the past few months.  We are learning to be Boden’s parents, and he is learning how to be in a family.  But this has been easier than we first believed it would be.  Boden fits right in with us, and we have hit a new normal….a much slower-paced normal, but normal nonetheless =)  Boden was napping the other day, and the three bios were helping with dinner, and it occurred to me that I don’t remember what it was like before he came along.  It kind of makes me want to thumb my nose at the naysayers that were out there….even people who seemed supportive to our face, and went around to everyone else talking like we were crazy.  I could say, “Nana Nana Boo Boo…..we didn’t ‘bite off more than we can chew’, and we are absolutely in love with this sweet boy.” I could say that…but I won’t 😉

Boden has had several trips to different doctors.  His heart is completely normal, all blood tests are normal ( with the exception of slightly low calcium), he had oral surgery today, he is starting PT/OT very soon and speech to follow, among some other things.

We have had big changes, and it set the ball in motion for more possible changes.  If you pray for our family, could you keep us in your prayers?  Change is hard, but sometimes necessary; and there quite a few that we will be making in the near future, Lord willing.

Sorry that I stink so bad at blogging.  And I am sorry there are no pictures. I haven’t figured that out yet, and all my pictures are on my phone.  Just take my word for it–Boden is precious and beautiful…and so are all my other kiddos….and so is my hubby =)


Moving Along


For those of you watching and following our journey, we have had some progress lately!

Last weekend we held a garage sale, and were able to raise over $800! I just want to give a huge THANK YOU to those of you who donated items to us, and those who came to shop.  I have also been working on seven foot rulers that I sell as growth charts. I ended up having 9 orders for those, and I’m putting one in an auction.

PROGRESS:  Last week I was able to wire my money to the RR  facilitation team.  This week we have started our online adoption training, my draft for my home study will be submitted, I have gotten proof of mortgage/homeownership, our copies of marriage licenses, and got my car inspected (not that I need that for my adoption, but it’s progress!).  I also got my first 8 forms notorized and apostilled, and they are headed to Eastern Europe at the end of the week!!!

Thursday we are going to apply for our passports. I was going to do that last Thursday, but I have a gigantic fever blister on my lip. It’s still there, but I am trying not to be too vain because I really need to get it done.  On a side note, when I had my C-sections with all three of my biological kiddos, I got fever blisters each and every time.  I told Caleb I knew Heath was mine, because he was giving me fever blisters too! haha

I am wondering though, if anybody struggles with the same feelings that I do.  Feel free to let me know if you do, so I don’t feel like a nut!

I want to spend every wakeful minute working on the adoption, and probably could because there’s so much to do. But I’m a full time mom to three and a house keeper.  At the moment, I feel like I’m neglectful of my kids, and my house is a wreck! I am pulled so many directions, that there are times when I just sit down and cry for a minute.  I did stop yesterday and play outside and ride bikes with the kids.  It was so refreshing.  I guess I’m not sure exactly where my main priority is or should be.  Heath is my kid, too, and I need to do everything in my power to bring him home. We’re working through it, and we’ll all be OK.

I will say this. The online adoption training is making me anxious. Thanks a lot, social worker, for making us do it even though our country doesn’t require it! At age twelve, apparently the brain prunes itself, and that has me concerned that Heath is going to be harder to break through to.  Has his brain lost all the connections that it needs to connect with us and new experiences? Please pray for my poor baby and that his mind will be ready to handle us and his big changes, and that we will be there before too much longer.

Also pray for Caleb and me.  We have always and still do have such an incredible, extraordinary relationship. We are fiercely devoted to each other, and loving each other has always been easy.  I am constantly conscious of amount of love I have for him, and it never ceases to amaze me.  And I see that love for me reflected in his honey colored eyes (he looks at me differently than everyone else.).  When we started this process, our friends–who are in country now–advised us to not lose each other through all the paperwork and red tape.  I halfway thought he was crazy, but I understand now. With our three kids, housework, the broken lawnmower, and his long crazy hours, I feel like I don’t see much of him. We miss each other. And there are times when he is home, and we’re not busy,  that I am so stressed out, that I find my self biting his head off about silly things, or we just pass smooth out–haha!  Pray that we don’t lose each other….and maybe that we can have a date night before too long =)  We are still us. We are still good. We are just caught in a whirlwind.

Thank you all for your prayers. Thank you for loving our Heath, and thank you for loving us.  It is so amazing at the support system that we have through RR. All of you mean so much to me.  Y’all are a special kind of people.