Friday, December 9, 2011

Totally Exausted

I am still in Russia. I am so emotionally and physically exhausted with all that has happened this week.It is all so intense it is hard to write about right now.I am just so mentally exhausted trying to make life changing decisions when things keep changing.We have had to make some decisions this week that are just hard .REALLY HARD and PAINFUL to my heart !
There have been some nice moments like returning to my children's former orphanage and sharing hugs and pictures of the kids with them.I was able to see both orphanage directors and their former caretakers. They of course loved the pics and donations.They were very interested in our children's lives and development.Everyone here has been very kind and supportive despite all the drama this week.I usually do pretty well under stress but, this week the water works just kept coming.
When I return and know more about our decisions I will share a bit more of our story.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Here We Go Again !

In a few days I will be off again to the place I could have never imagined I would go back least for a long time!! Yes, I am really going back to Russia! Not only to Russia but, to the same orphanage our son lived in.There is a long story behind the last couple sentences which I will have to explain later.I am still a bit overwhelmed with it all since we were not actively pursuing to expand our family but, some interesting and very unusual circumstances has us going back.The last couple months we have been very busy updating our home study , getting registered in region,doing tons of documents, and recieved our visa. We will need to make some important decisions this next week regarding this little one so, keep us in your thoughts and prayers please.

BTW,Today a year ago we returned home from Russia with our little ones. What an amazing year for them and us !

Monday, November 14, 2011

1 Year Already? Now and Then

One year ago this week we picked the kids up from their orphanages in the Vladivostok region.What an amazing difference a year can make!They were such brave little souls but, had such sadness in their eyes. Now a year later I would call them happy, active, fun, full of life ,love and spunk ! They are doing really well overall. They both speak in full sentences. Brock still remembers some Russian as sometimes he will still say DA !They attend a wonderful preschool in the morning and love it !We are just blessed to have them in our family! Life is busy ! OK, I mean really busy ! Next post I will share more about our new adventure we are embarking on.Sometimes we do what our hearts tell us to even though most of the world might wonder why !

Monday, August 15, 2011

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Goodbye Switzerland

We have enjoyed our extended stay this summer in the land of my birth. We are back in the US again and getting ready to go back to school in a couple weeks. We are doing a few beach trips and a lot of pool time now since we did not do too much of that in Europe.The little ones have really grown ! ! They both gained over a pound and a half while in Switzerland.I am sure the fresh Swiss milk and cheese and alpine air did them a lot of good.It is so wonderful to see how far our little munchkins have come since coming home only 8 months ago.Many adventures coming up this fall.One thing we are doing is a birth family search.Our searcher will be going to Vladivostok soon for several families doing a search.I am hoping that through this we will be able to do more genealogy work for them.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Italy Adventures

We have had some great times in Europe for the past month. We took several side trips from our home base in Morschach Switzerland one of which was to Italy.The trains are fast and fabulous and gets you to places very quickly.Always a bit hectic with all the kids but we manage just fine.( well,most of the time) We did manage to lose Brock while in Venice. I am so anal about keeping track of everyone and yet some how Brock slipped out of site.One minute he was in the stroller next to me and the next minute he was not. Yikes ! ! After about 20 long minutes of panic and prayers he was found !lets just say we did not leave him out of our site again for a second !Not one second !

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Greetings from Switzerland !

We are enjoying being back in my homeland for a good portion of our summer.It is always so wonderful to be back.We have spent most of our time in the Alps so far. Yesterday we went up to Zermatt where the Matterhorn is.Next week we will head down to Italy for a bit of shopping. Our little Russians/Americans/Swiss are doing just fine here. They continue to show good signs of attachment to us.They just seem to blend in no matter where they are.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

6 months ours...then and now

6 months ago today our little ones left their life in an orphanage behind.On November 18th 2010 we started the day by making the two and a half hour drive from Vladivostok to Ussyrisk to pick up Brock from the orphanage.It was a very cold day with temperatures well below freezing. All the children in Brock's "groupa" seemed to know what was going on when we arrived at the orphanage.His caretakers all came in and kissed him a tearful goodbye and told him to have a happy life.Priceless pictures were taken of his roommates and caretakers.Everything was pretty rush rush and we quickly changed his clothes,bundled him up to Russian standards and we were off to get Milana at her orphanage back in Vladivostok.Brock just soaked everything up while driving to get Milana. It was like an entire new world for him. He did get car sick (poor little guy)but, I knew that he might being the roads were very rough and bumpy.We were running late to pick up Milana so everything happened at lightning speed.The orphanages keep to a very strict schedule.We returned to the Vlad Inn at around 6pm and had both our precious ones with me forever !I can play the movie in my mind as if it were yesterday.

Fast forward 6 months later,they are like two completely different little children. We just can not imagine our lives without them anymore.It has not always been easy with two children adjusting to family life but, so very rewarding.Now that they know English most people are just amazed that they have only been with us for 6 months.We continue to work on some minor issues but, overall they are doing very well adjusting family life here in California.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

First Beach Day

This past Saturday the little ones had their first experience at the beach here in California with actually playing in the water.While we were in Russia we took them to the beach near the Vlad Inn in Vladivostok but, it certainly was a different experience with the frozen sea there.The older boys wanted to go surfing and boogie boarding so we headed over to one of the surfer beaches pretty close to our home. What a joy it was to watch Brock and Milana experience another first. Brock was in beach heaven ! He loves the water and could not get enough of it. When the waves knocked him over he was still all smiles. Milana was a little more reserved but enjoyed the sand play. When she got wet she did not like getting dirty with the wet sand. I guess she is just all girl in that way.They both loved watching their brother Bryce and Papa surf.I am sure this will be only one of many beach days they will enjoy as they grow up as little Californians.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

blog to book

A friend of mine shared with me the site which you can turn your blog into a book. You had a variety of choices from hard or soft cover, what cover design you like,and what posts you want to print. I was pleasantly surprised how nice it turned out. The paper and picture quality are really nice.It is definitely worth checking out if you have interest in doing a book to remember your experiences. It was really simple to do and much easier the scrap booking.(at least for me with seven kids)

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Autism Awareness

April is autism awareness month.When I had my first child almost 21 years ago I knew very little about autism.It was not until our son was almost 3 and diagnosed with autism that our lives changed forever.As a very young mother I did not expect this to be part of our world however, we became engrossed in learning all we could to help our son reach his full potential. Those who have autistic kids know the amount of patience, commitment, financial sacrifices, advocating,and stress it takes to help their children navigate through this world when the world does not understand theirs.

Strides are being made to help these kids and adults but, the reality is Autism does not go away when you get older. Autistic children grow up to be Autistic adults.Figures now show 1 out of 150 children have some form of autism.As a mother of an autistic son I would NEVER trade this experience of learning and personal growth. I can honestly say our son has taught us much more than we can ever teach him.That being said there is a great need for more awareness, education, research,support and most of all acceptance of those with differences. If you love someone autistic or challenged in some way you will know they are more like us then different.