Wednesday, January 13, 2016

6 mos home, 2 yrs home, and the gender of baby eight!

I have been so bad about blogging! I'm in a bit of a rut these days, so please forgive me. 

Vanya is doing great. He cruises furniture, sleeps well, eats well, and is a happy little guy. His 2nd birthday is next month, so we're gearing up for his very first birthday party!

Maks has now been home over 2 years! Can you believe it?? He is doing great in kindergarten. He can match numbers and letters, and can write an M. We finally found new therapists to come to the house after school, so those are starting this week. He still isn't potty trained, so that's been frustrating, but he'll get there eventually. 

Christmas was great and we all had a lot of fun celebrating Jesus' birth.

The kids got the game Pie Face for Christmas and we played it on New Year's Eve. It's hilarious and so much fun. 

We also found out that baby number 8 is a girl! Genevieve Mae will join us in late April. The kids are so excited. 

I hope you all are doing well. Praying for a wonderful 2016 for all of us. 

Monday, November 9, 2015


This week's homily really spoke to me. Whether it seems like it or not, I always seem to have an attitude towards God when it comes to our growing family, at least at first. 

"You want me to do what? Fly across the world and do what?"

"You want me to give birth and then fly across the world and do what?"

"You just gave me another pregnancy 9 months after giving birth to another one?"

And now...

"I just brought a sweet baby home from Ukraine, what do you mean I'm pregnant???" 

Yes, you read that right, #8 is on his or her way. And I've had an attitude about it, as usual. 

And then Sunday, the words were spoken by our amazing priest, "just when you think you've given all you possibly can, God asks you to give more."

Oh, smack. Right across the face. Right into my heart. God knew what I needed to hear. 

My patience level, our finances, our hectic lifestyle, all need an overhaul, and obviously God knows I need extreme amounts of sanctifying. 

I am blessed, but we could use your prayers as our family grows once more. 


Wednesday, October 14, 2015

3 months home!

Well, I've been a horrible post-adoption blogger, haven't I? With the start of school and all the running around to do, I barely have time to breathe. I do find a way to lay down with the little boys daily for a nap, so that has helped, but man we're busy! 

Vanya is doing amazingly well. He is teething currently, so he's a little cranky, but he is making great progress, has started physical therapy, and still loves swim lessons. He blows bubbles in the water and holds his breath to go under now. It's really cute. It's also been a good bonding experience for us, because he is in the pool with me, while Sam is in the other pool with a teacher. 

He is doing a lot of tall kneeling against furniture, which is great for his core strength, and he's even been standing up in the pool while holding onto the side. He has trouble realizing his feet work, so this is big. 

He had a feeding therapist evaluation and he is suddenly chewing on an age appropriate level. This has made both of our lives so much easier! He's eating lots of big boy food and really enjoying himself. He loves everything except Chick fil a fries. Haha...

We had family pics done a couple weeks ago, so I'll share those! Hope you're all doing well, and I'm so sorry for my lack of posting. 

Friday, August 28, 2015


I am such a horrible post-adoption blogger! I don't intend to be, but the days are getting away from me lately, and now that the kids are in school, we are spending a lot of time in the car!

Everyone is doing well. Vanya and Sam have started baby swimming lessons, and they're doing great! It's so cute to see Sam ride around on his teacher's back in the pool and get more comfortable in the water, and see Vanya try to blow bubbles and enjoy splashing around.

My 3 older girls are all in elementary now, and they're doing great at the new school. We love it so far.

Maks is in full day Kindergarten and he does a little jig every time he sees the bus pull up. It's really cute.

Maks and Vanya both have cardio checkups on Monday, and after that, we will be scheduling Maks' ear tube surgery.

So far, Vanya has checked out completely healthy on his bloodwork, ENT, stool tests, and everything else. He rocked his early intervention evaluation, too. He's not even delayed in the social area, which is AMAZING coming from the orphanage and having Down syndrome.

That's all I have time for today! I will post some pics soon!


Tuesday, August 4, 2015

The Biggest Thank You

I received the list of donors from our Reece's Rainbow grant today. 

Please know that even though we can't thank each and every one of you individually, we appreciate every single one of you. 

To our church family, who prayed for us, baked for us, and hosted events for us.

To the Reece's Rainbow community for always being there to listen, to fight for, to advocate. 
So many people were such a huge part of bringing him home. From the person in Ukraine who sent his file to the adoption authority. To the wonderful team in Ukraine who worked tirelessly. To the wonderful Nancy who dealt with my whining for months while I completed our dossier. To Reece's Rainbow for shedding light on the orphans. For giving them a chance. Andrea, Nancy, Michelle, Serge, Yulia S., Luda, Alex, Yulia, Vitaly. 

Thank you isn't enough. But, thank you, thank you, thank you, for helping us bring our sweet boy home. We really could not have done it without you. 

We love you, dear friends. We are blessed. 

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Quick Update


I'm so sorry I haven't been blogging. We have actually had a fairly easy transition so far, it's just busy having 7 kids! (WOW, I have seven kids!) The boys are in bed supposed to be napping, and the girls are out on a date with daddy.

Anyway, Vanya is doing amazingly well. He stopped drinking when we got home, but he started up again a couple days ago, so that was a relief. He had his first checkup yesterday. He is doing great, is 22 lbs and 33 inches. He's a BIG guy! Now the testing begins; bloodwork, stool tests, etc. Plus, his specialist appointments; cardiology, orthopedics, and anything the bloodwork results might add.

We have the intake appointment for Early Intervention set up for this coming Wednesday, and I can't wait to get this sweetie the therapies he needs! I'm hoping for feeding/speech therapy and physical therapy for sure.

Little guy has orphanage trained hands during mealtimes and we are hoping to break free of those chains soon.

Yesterday, he surprised us by grabbing a fry and eating it himself! He ate two whole fries without any problems. Nutritious? Nope. Do I care? Not one bit! He fed himself!!! Amazing the progress that can be made just by having a family.

He is crawling like a champ and trying to pull himself up on furniture, but he's in that soon-to-be-a-toddler phase where he is bonking himself on things like crazy, so his sweet little forehead is almost always bruised.

Maks had a hard time when we first got home. It's hard that I was away for so long, so he was acting out from that, and then add on a new kiddo, phew. He was not happy. He's doing much better now, but I've started limiting TV time, so he's mad at me again. He's doing great with Vanya, though. Maks starts Kindy on August 10th!

Sam and Vanya are totally bonding and it's soooo cute to see. Sam is 5 months older, and went through a little jealousy at first, but now he kisses and hugs him all the time, they baby babble and touch each other's faces, and it's so sweet to see. I think they will be best friends forever. :)

Charlotte is a smothering big sister. Which, we knew from having Samuel and adopting Maks, but it really is tiring. She's so very sweet and loves her brothers so much, but she gets a little carried away sometimes. She keeps saying things like, "I can't believe God made Vanya so cute! He is just so cute, I can't stand it!!! Mommy, isn't Vanka cute?!?!!" And when we're out of the house it's, "Momma, I miss Vanka Vanka! Let's go home." *swoon* It's precious.

The three big girls love him, and get lots of snuggle time in all day. It's nice that this was all done while on summer vacation so we all could bond with him and as a family. I need more pics of the big kids, apparently! I can't find any! :)

Hoping to have airport pics from our photographer soon. I'll post them as soon as I can!

Happy weekend!


Wednesday, July 15, 2015

We're home!

I'm so sorry I haven't kept the blog updated. The end of process was crazy, as you can probably imagine. 

But, we're home! We got in last night, had a good night's sleep, and we're so happy to be back with our family where we belong. 

Thank you all for being with us every step of the way.