April 29, 2008 -

We have doctors appointments this week - lots of them. Lera has a rash on her backside that is very persistant, Caelia (and I) got bit by something in the garage while we were cleaning, both girls have appointments with the ENT and the eye doctor but I wanted to let everyone know how things are progressing in the Green household.

Caelia spent the last week running after Lera and sitting on her - she discovered that she outweighs Lera. After about a week of this Lera decided to throw things at Caelia - big things. I thought that kaos was the direction we were heading but it seems to have settled out. Caelia still tackles Lera but she now moves if Lera protests. I think they have reached some sort of understanding.

They both agree that outside is the place to be. It is warm and sunny and there is lots of dirt and stuff to get into! I have never seen a little girl so determined to play in the dirt. I wonder if that has something to do with the lack of toys at her orphanage? Of course, this does not explain Caelia's determination for doing the same thing.

Today is the last nice day we will have until next week. It's 60 degrees out and sunny but the forecast is for rain (lots of rain) and a few flurries this weekend. Yuck!

April 14, 2008 - Another Day

My day with the girls looks something like this:

I was trying to get a really nice photo for the Reece's Rainbow Homecomings page and this is what I get. I have one smiling angelicly, while the other makes a break for it.

I won't be distracted by phone calls today though. One of the girls put my makeup, lotion, toilet paper and telephone in the toilet. It is really hard when you don't instantly know who did it. Lera was looking the most guilty and Caelia was most willing to point at her. So the phone is drying out. And I am now listening for any movement in the direction of the bathroom. Previous experience has taught me that more things will find their way into the toilet before the fascination is over. To date, our kids have racked up the following tab, in regards to the toilet, 2 bottles of foundation, 1 lipstick, 1 bottle of powder, 2 cellphones, 1 cordless phone, a bathtub stopper, a small stuffed animal, a new toilet and Mom's diamond engagement ring. We tried putting a lock on the toilet but Caelia can open ANYTHING. Michael, however, cannot. Therefore, no lock on the toilet.

Today is also beautiful. Its sunny and the girls are determined to be outside. They are not willing to believe Mama that shoes and pants are required, especially since it is still around 35 degrees outside. Its supposed to be 50 later and mid 60 tomorrow so it should be just about impossible to keep them in until the morning chill has gone.

I did finally finish our Homecomings for Reeces Rainbow today. I keep thinking about how miraclous Lera being part of our family is...and it started with a picture (and a lot of help and info from Andrea). I was looking at the pictures on that page and I thought I would share a couple of our photos, so you can see how far she really has come.

April 7, 2008 - Slava and Timur

A lot of people are put off the idea of adoption because they think that they just can't afford it. I can't say that it is a cheap or easy path to follow but the reward is so great, that it is definitely worth while. Adopting from Ukraine is such a leap of faith - in general, a family adopting from Ukraine gets an appointment without any child picked out. On very rare occasions, such as with us, another family had adopted from the orphanage that our Lera was at and came back with pictures and stories about her. I am truly thankful that her picture found its way to us. It was very important to us to take pictures and bring back information about the other children with down syndrome at that orphanage in the hope that they too would find a family to love them. The fact that the orphanage does such a stellar job of caring for them and treating them with love and compassion was a bonus. A donor has generously given a large grant to two of my favorite boys.

First, there is Slava. I love Slava. He is really a little tank. He is still a bit unsteady on his feet but he is very active and very sturdy. His smile is wonderful and he loves capturing the attention of all those around him. He is healthy - no heart condition! His birthdate is 11/11/2005. He has a grant of $5000 to help with his adoption costs.

And then there is Timur. Timur is such a wonderful armful. I could have hugged this little boy all day, but he was too curious to have held still for that. He could stand but was not yet walking. He was described as very friendly by the doctors and director of the orphanage and he certainly was outgoing when we met him. He does have crossed eyes but outside of that he is a very healthy little boy. His birthdate is 3/1/2006. He has a grant of $5500 toward his adoption.

Anyone considering adopting, please consider these two wonderful boys. They come from a great orphanage, they are healthy and they are both delights! If anyone would like more information or more pictures, please contact me and I will send you all the information I have about them and put you in touch with a fantastic facillitator. My email address is siochane@gmail.com

April 3, 2008

There really is a lot of work that needs to be done when you get home with your little one. There is paperwork for social security, immigration, Ukraine embassy, medicaid, insurance, benefits...and then there are the doctor's appointments. Many doctors appointments to set up. Most of Lera's medical information is sketchy, so even giving her antibiotics is a guess. Is she allergic? In a lot of ways its like having a newborn but with a few twists. We already know some information but sometimes that is more information than you want because it can be so hard to decipher through what it has been translated as. It has taken me about 2 weeks to get to the point that I can sit down and catch up on other things. And after that lengthy excuse for why I haven't been blogging, you'd think I would have an incredibly detailed post for you today - but no, I am going to weasel one more day before catching you up on how we are adjusting. The weather is beautiful and I now have 2 (count them) 2 escape artists that are dying to get out of the house. I took these pictures on the porch - note the bare feet and the SNOW in the background! And this is a picture of Lera - she's actually trying to catch bubbles on her tongue - Michael showed her how.

April 1, 2008 - Springtime in Minnesota

No, this isn't an April Fools joke. This is what we woke up to this morning. At least its pretty.

We are settling in around here pretty well. I am amazed at just how well Lera is adjusting. It seems like she has been part of our family forever. I have discovered that she is silly, opiniated and a bit bossy. It is funny to hear her bossing Caelia around. It's even funnier to hear Caelia answering her. They seem to understand each other so well!

We took Valeria to the doctor to have her check up. She is pretty healthy. Not a sign of a heart murmur. We also gave him the list of ailments that came with her - according to Ukraine medical: Dawn Disease, delay of psycho-motor development, valgus foot deformation, scoliosis, obesity I degree, long sight, small heart development anomaly, anomaly chord, hemorrhagic vasculitis, stage of clinic-laboratory remission, disabled child. Is it any wonder that no one in Ukraine would consider her for adoption? I think Dawn Disease is Down Syndrome. The only one of these things that is a little confusing is hemorrhagic vasculitis. I'm really not sure what that is and our doctor didn't really know what it was either. We had a few guesses but Lera is really healthy - outside of exzema and a diaper rash.