Friday, May 4, 2012

Day 17: Another big thank you

Before I talk about the boys I cannot let one more moment pass without saying WOW!  I cannot believe how you all have donated AGAIN!

I know the amount on Reece's Rainbow is confusing so hopefully I can explain.  On the Reece's Rainbow site Valentin has his own fund which totals $3,711.  Then we had our own family fund for Valentin and before we traveled it totaled $15,815.  We have already received that money and it is the money that we are using right now in country.  Reece's Rainbow keeps a running total, they do not reset the amount when the money is transferred to the family.  I hope that makes sense.

Now, Joey has his own fund which has $20.  And I see our family fund has grown to $18,180.00.  I have heard from a friend that a check for $1,000 is being sent to RR, I am not sure if that is included in the $18k or not but am assuming not.  I have also heard from people who are sending checks directly to us, which from what I understand totals around $800.  So for Joey's adoption, as far as I can tell we have $4,165 of the $9,000 we need.

Can you believe it????  I am humbled.  I am not sure I can find any more words, I am just simply flat out humbled!  I am also beyond thrilled to see the body of Christ work so hard and giving so much in obedience to God's word to care for the orphan.  Christians, we have a LONG way to go before we have obeyed that to the fullest but still, helping two orphans is no small thing!  Most of you have probably heard the starfish story but for anyone who has not here it is:

Once upon a time there was a wise man
who used to go to the ocean to do his
writing. He had a habit of walking on the
beach before he began his work.

One day he was walking along the shore.
As he looked down the beach, he saw a
human figure moving like a dancer. He
smiled to himself to think of someone
who would dance to the day.

So he began to walk faster to catch up.
As he got closer, he saw that it was a
young man and the young man wasn't
dancing, but instead he was reaching
down to the shore, picking up something
and very gently throwing it into the ocean.

As he got closer he called out,
"Good morning! What are you doing?"

The young man paused, looked up and replied,
"Throwing starfish in the ocean."

"I guess I should have asked, why are you throwing starfish in the ocean?"

"The sun is up and the tide is going out. And if I don't throw them in they'll die."

"But, young man, don't you realize that there are miles and miles of beach and starfish all along it. You can't possibly make a difference!"

The young man listened politely. Then bent down, picked up another starfish and threw it into the ocean, past the breaking waves and said -

"It made a difference for that one."

I will say it a million times over, we could not do this without you!  It is upon your kindness, generosity, support, and prayers that we travel this road.  Those are not just empty words, and I hope you know my sincerity.  I pour over every donation, over every comment, over every message and email, and even though I can't see them - every prayer too, with gratitude and praise to God.  It is for God that we adopt and I know that it is for God that you donate, comment, and pray so again I do not want to give too many praises here because the best rewards are in heaven.  But I do thank you and even though those words seem so flat, they are said with great love.

Okay, so on to the boys.  I visited Valentin first and tried to get back into his room but was shooed away. These were different nannies and I cannot figure out what nannies work what days yet so I will keep persisting and praying I get more access.  Valentin was VERY out of it today and a little agitated.  Not towards me at all praise God.  But I am finally convinced he is on a drug different then what they are telling me.  I was told by his doctor that he is on 2 medications, when I look them up neither of which cause sleepiness or agitation.  I was told by his doctor (and I have heard many others report) that they medicate on 3 day cycles - 3 days on, 3 days off.  This is starting to be very clear the more time I spend with him.  It makes so much sense doesn't it that yesterday he was so 'alive' and happy, which I am now assuming was because it was his 3rd day off medication and it had probably completely left his system.  I am betting today was the first day back on and it had him dazed and agitated.  Ugh!  I want to be angry about it...but soon enough he will be free from the cycle.  The day can't seem to come quick enough!  I just wish they would be honest about what sedative drug they are using so we can know the side effects of stopping it suddenly.  There is a common one used here which does not have many side effects other then maybe some diarrhea, so let's pray that is it.  You can tell in the picture he was pretty lifeless.  But he did let me put him on the couch again.

I figured I would use the sleepiness to get closer to him and bond.  I sat next to him and he leaned against me while I rubbed his back and sang to him.  He would not let me put him on my lap but he tolerated sitting next to me.  I could not help but cry as I sang worship songs to him thinking about how God had redeemed mine and my husband's lives spiritually so that we could be used to help redeem Valentin's life physically...and hopefully someday spiritually too.

He did have moments of wanting to play so we did bubbles again.  He loved it but not like yesterday.  He started putting his toys behind his head and he thought that was a very funny game.

The nanny came too early again...they are only giving me 45 minutes a day with him.  He was VERY upset as she put him in the stroller and there was no way she or I was going to calm him down.  Poor guy!  His little body is on a roller coaster of these drugs, no wonder he is so upset.  I just have to keep telling myself 'soon enough'.

Joey was a ball of energy, joy, and laughter again!  I almost feel like I don't have as much to write about with him because he is just doing so well.  Don't get me wrong I can certainly see huge signs of institutionalization in him!  HUGE!  And much of his laughter is anxiety/nervousness, but I can see too that he is just flat out a joyful kid.  I walked in and everyone was playing with toys in the classroom Joey and I usually sit in.  The teacher told them to clean up.  All the other kids bolted to the tv room but Joey stayed to help.  I have never seen a kid clean up so fast, Joey was very excited to see me!  We played with 'cubici' again, initially ignoring all other toys I brought.  Towards the end though I could tell the 'cubici' were losing their fun and he started playing briefly with the other toys.  He is a very smart kid, I usually bring the same toys (I have more in the apartment but need to save some for the train and flight home) but today I took the ball out and left it at the apartment.  He noticed right away that the ball was not there, smart kid!  I taught him how to blow bubbles.  Sorry for the blurry picture, I was trying to get the bubbles on the wand with my right hand and quickly snap a picture with my left...not too bad.

We had a great time but one thing really saddened me.  He has stopped trying to speak to me in Russian.  He has figured out that I (obviously by butchering the Russian language) do not speak the same language and has stopped chattering on and on at me.  I am so sad about this and I can tell it is a disconnect between us and he feels it too.  You all know how fast our adoption process went while also caring for 3 small children and there just was not enough time to learn Russian beyond some basic words and phrases.  I wish there had been time.  I am going to take some different toys today or maybe they will let me walk around outside with him, maybe that will help with bonding.  Saddly there is no outdoor playground equipment to play on at his orphanage.

I did however get a big hug again today and he held my hand and walked me to the door as I left.  He is such a precious love!

Oh, and an update on our time here: no, we still do not have a court date.  Our paperwork is at the department in the capitol city.  There are only a few working days this week and next because of the holidays so it is taking extra long to get those.  Without those we cannot even petition for a court date.  Our facilitator is hoping to get the documents on the 10th, rush to get a court date of hopefully the 15th.  I am sure we will not hear anything until the 10th at the very earliest (our facilitator is not even in the country, she is on vacation out of the country until the 9th so I am sure even if our paperwork was done we wouldn't know it).  We do not expect to be able to go home with the boys until June 6th at the earliest.


  1. I'm glad you recognize the effects of the drugs on your son. It would be easy to take his reactions personally on bad days but you are right to recognize what the "medications" do to their tiny bodies. You probably won't even see his true personality until he is off of all that crap!
    The language thing between you and Joey. It makes me think of youth groups who go to other countries for mission trips and do VBS with the kids. The kids figure out quickly that the teens don't speak the same language, but bonding happens over all sorts of things. "The International Language" and all that! :) You are doing a great job and soon that little smarty will be speaking English anyway!

  2. I Just wanted to post that I found your blog yesterday, and have read every post. I am 15 and want to adopt when I am an adult, and I love your story! I especially love that you decided to adopt two more! Thank you for doing what you are doing, it is very encouraging. :)

  3. May I ask what is Valentin's full diagnosis (except CP) or would you prefer not to say? You said his prognosis is not good, is that life-limiting or developmentally? Prayers for you and your family.

  4. Jamie-I continue to send you, Tyler, and all your kids lots of prayers of strength and love. I am especially holding Valentin and Joey...those beautiful, beautiful boys. Thank goodness their momma is there with them, to help them survive until they can get home to their forever home.

    May God continue to be with you as you miss home, miss your kids at home, and face with bravery and God's love the challenges of bonding with your boys. Thank you for sharing your story with us and for giving me the honor of being part of your prayer/support team! Love, Jane, reader/momma in Los Angeles